US’s Second-Largest School District Says It’s Keeping Mask Mandate in Place

by Taylor Cunningham

The city of Los Angeles no longer requires face coverings in indoor public settings, but the Los Angeles Unified School District will still keep its mask mandate for the time being. This comes after LA County Public Health told 80 county school districts that they can decide whether or not they will follow the city’s lead.

At a Glance

  • The Los Angeles Unified School District has announced plans to keep mask mandate in place despite the city dropping indoor masking mandate.
  • LA County Public Health told schools that they can decide whether or not they will enforce masking.
  • Schoolboard leaders do not know how long the mandate will stay in place.
  • Schools hope to transition to “strongly recommended masking” in the future.

Los Angeles Unified School District Will Continue to Enforce its Mask Mandate

When Los Angeles Public Health told school boards that the choice to enforce mask mandates is up to them, several districts decided to drop their required face-covering requirements. But LAUSD, which is the second-largest district in the country, opted out of changing the rules.

LAUSD stressed that it does not feel comfortable allowing students to go mask-free just yet. But going forward, the school board and teachers’ union will work together to drop the mandate and move to “strongly recommend” masks indoors.

“​​The science that informed the on-ramp to the protective protocols currently in place, which have ensured the well-being of our students and workforce, must, too, inform the off-ramp as health conditions improve,” the district wrote on Twitter Friday.

“Los Angeles Unified continues to take a science-based approach to COVID-19 policy and is currently working with labor partners and other stakeholders to transition from required indoor masking to a strong recommendation for indoor masking,” the post continued.

Parents Torn About Mask Mandates

While K-12 schools around the city are moving away from COVID protocols, parents are divided about whether or not the mask mandates should remain in place. Some believe it’s unfair to make the kids wear face coverings for long periods of time while others fear that dropping the mandates will cause a spike in infection rates.

“I think it’s time [to drop masking],” LAUSD parent Elisa Smith told ABC affiliate KABC. “If it’s time for us adults to take them off, I think it’s time for the children to take them off.”

“I want them to keep it on. I do, personally,’ said Claudia Angulo. “Why? Because it’s still out there, the virus, just to be safe.”

Los Angeles Unified School District will meet to discuss the decision further on March 16th.