School Mask Fights Heating Up In Conservative States

Yvonne Moniz, right, a special needs teacher at Challenger Elementary, along with Oakland Park Elementary third grade teacher Donna Sacco, second from right, and Oriole Elementary fourth grade teacher Yolanda Smith, center, tries to persuade anti-mask protester Heather Tanner that all students need to wear masks to protect the most vulnerable. during a protest outside of a Broward County School Board meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to discuss a possible mask mandate when school starts next week. (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

(AP) — The highly contagious delta variant is fueling a surge in coronavirus cases as students return to classrooms. School districts with hundreds of thousands of kids are increasingly defying Republican leaders who banned school mask mandates in several U.S. states.

The showdowns have drawn in the White House and landed in courtrooms where judges have so far allowed school mask requirements in two states. Florida, Texas, Arizona and Arkansas are among the states where largely GOP leaders have prohibited districts from requiring all kids to wear masks. But with infections on the rise and young children ineligible for vaccinations, districts in blue-leaning urban areas especially are rebelling.


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