Schools Confront More Polarization With Mask Rules For Fall

FILE - In this March 2, 2021 file photo, a student plays the flute while wearing a protective face mask during a music class at the Sinaloa Middle School in Novato, Calif. With COVID-19 cases soaring nationwide, school districts across the U.S. are yet again confronting the realities of a polarized country and the lingering pandemic as they navigate mask requirements, vaccine rules and social distancing requirements for the fast-approaching new school year. (AP Photo/Haven Daily)

School districts across the country have an important decision to make before fall classes begin: Will students be required to wear masks? The spread of the delta variant and deep political divisions over the COVID-19 outbreak have complicated such decisions.

Students and teachers in Wichita, Kansas, public schools can ditch the masks. Detroit public schools will probably require them only for the unvaccinated. In Pittsburgh, masks will likely be required regardless of vaccination status. And in some states, schools cannot mandate face coverings under any circumstances.

The issue is even more fraught in areas where infections are soaring. School officials also cite conflicting advice from public health officials.


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