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Mixed Opinions: should kids be required to wear masks when they return to school?

Under the current mandate from the governor, they have to.
Posted at 9:57 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 14:00:23-04

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette Parish School Board adopted their plan, as they head back to school, in a meeting today.

The plan had some changes in the parts dealing with band programs, a clear-cut addition saying children won’t be vaccinated without parental consent, and the request from the board to Superintendent Trosclair, to meet with local medical leaders for guidance.

However, the topic of mask-wearing as kids get back to school raised some concerns.

“It's a parent’s choice, not yours, it’s ours,” said one parent, as other parents in the audience cheered her on.

As cases continuously climb across the state, some parents don’t want their kids to wear a mask for the school day. Many adults said they don’t even wear one, to begin with.

Under the current mandate by the governor, all LPSS employees are required to wear face coverings and students in grades PreK-12 are required to wear face coverings

“Unmask our children... Let them be kids... This is stressful for adults; can you imagine what these kids are going through,” said another concerned parent.

Some members of the public commented saying that wearing a mask has a toll on a kid’s development.

"Do I just wear this and deprive my kids of smiles, of laughter, of going to school and seeing their teacher welcoming them to school?”

Meanwhile, the president for the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators says, that’s not the case – there are other ways to nourish teacher-student relationships while showing half of your face and keeping everyone safe.

“There’s body language, having very open body language to students,” said Julia Reed. “Students can tell when you're smiling behind your mask, you don’t just smile with your mouth. If you’ve ever seen someone smile with just their eyes... That’s very odd-looking, right?”

Superintendent Trosclair did say that the plan is based on the best available information today, but as we learn more — or as local conditions change — the board will be reviewing and updating protocols as needed.

See the full plan below

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