American Federation of Teachers Boss Says Mask Mandates in Schools Should Depend on Student Vaccination Rates

by Samantha Whidden
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As more protests continue to occur over mask mandates in schools throughout the U.S., the American Federation of Teachers boss, Randi Weingarten reportedly says that mask mandates should depend on student vaccination rates. 

During a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Weingarten was asked if she supports governors who are moving to end mask mandates this week. “At what point do we just say, ‘Okay, it’s time to get rid of the masks?’ The show’s host Willie Geist asks. “Isn’t there enough science available already?”

However, Weingarten remains cautious when it comes to removing mask mandates. “The real question becomes, how can we make sure people can plan for it? And what are the measures so everybody knows – so it doesn’t feel like it’s based upon politics. It feels like it’s based upon making sure there is no transmission in school?”

Weingarten praises the Massachusetts approach to mask mandates in schools. “What they’ve said is that by a school-by-school basis. They said if there are 80 percent vaccination rates, then the school can lift the mandates.”

According to The New York Post, Massachusetts is among the states that are planning to end the school mask mandates. Connecticut, New Jersey, and Delaware are also planning to end the mandates as well. Meanwhile, New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul indicated she was planning to extend masking requirements this month. However, she also suggested that vaccination rates may impact any future shifts in the policy.

New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, announced plans to end the statewide mask mandates in schools and childcare centers at the beginning of March. “We’re not going to manage COVID to zero. We have to learn how to live with COVID.”

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont also announced that the state’s school mask mandate will end on February 28th.

Johns Hopkins Child Psychiatrist Urges to End Mask Mandates in Schools to Help Children Who Are Falling Behind 

During a recent interview with CBS News, Dr. Carol Vial, a child psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, stated it is time for the mask mandates in schools to come to end. Her suggestion is to help students who are falling behind. “It’s really hard to measure right now the effects of masking all the time. I would expect that we would find that it’s going to cause harmful effects because we are not designed to communicate with masks.”

The New York Post also reports Dr. Lucy McBride explains that due to a “mounting” mental health crisis among children, mask mandates should be discarded soon. “We cannot wait longer to think about lifting restrictions that are causing more harm than doing good. Here is the plain truth. There is no convincing evidence in the real world that masking children in schools make a significant difference in transmissions in schools.”

Outsider.com