School Leaders Look for State Guidance as Doctors Recommend Mask Mandates for School

Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered no mask mandates in government buildings in May

The American Academy of Pediatrics announced an opinion that all children should wear masks in school even those who are vaccinated. But, are masks headed back to public schools this fall? 

The group of doctors say too few students are vaccinated to get rid of masks and it’s too hard for schools to police who does and doesn’t have the vaccine. But in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R) has outlawed mask mandates in all government buildings. 

Doug Williams, President, Texas Association of School Administrators and superintendent of Sunnyvale Independent School District said when you have doctors and others weighing in saying it’s not safe, not healthy, it alarms parents.   

Williams said school leaders worry parents will threaten to keep their kids home further complicating efforts to improve student performance.

There are also concerns that teachers won’t want to be in the building, despite the mounting evidence that in-person learning is the better way.

“This opinion complicates things just from the standpoint that parents not just in Sunnyvale but across the state will be leaning into medical opinions and it’s something school districts and the Department of Health and the Governor’s office at least need to revisit,” said Williams.

School districts are waiting to hear from TEA and the governor’s office on whether his declaration that masks are banned might or could change as the delta variant ramps up and more health officials call for mask mandates.

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