More North Alabama school districts announce masking requirement ahead of school

Students wear masks in school

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, schools are re-implementing masks for the start of the year.

Posted: Aug 7, 2021 11:16 PM

More schools are implementing masks mandates because of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Sheffield City Schools says starting Monday, they will require masks for the first 4 weeks of school.

WAAY-31 spoke with North Alabama parents on their feelings about the sudden changes

With the Delta variant becoming a huge concern across Alabama, several school districts are now making masks a requirement for the start of school.

But parents have mixed opinions on the mandate.

"I think it's okay. I think they should all still mask up since it's coming back," said Sawaski Madden.

Madden has a son in the Sheffield City School System.

Friday afternoon, they announced masks will be required for the first 4 weeks of school due to the rise in COVID cases.

They aren't the only ones who reversed their masking policies.

On Monday, the Athens City School superintendent will ask the school board to make masking a requirement before school starts.

This is something one parent says she doesn't want because it's affecting her daughter's social skills.

"Last year she became more withdrawn. She would hide behind the mask, which is very upsetting to us, and i would rather her as a shy child, be able to speak to her teacher and see her teacher and interact with her," said Laurie Evans.

Laurie Evans hopes there will be a chance for parents to voice their concerns at Monday's meeting and says she wants to have a compromise.

"I think desk shields could be one viable option. In that way, they're basically covered, the teachers face will be covered, and they can actually communicate because that's so important for young children," said Evans.

There is one thing all parents can agree with: they're hoping for a good school year where kids are happy to be back in the classroom.

"As long as he keeps his mask on face, wash his hands, wash everything he touches, every time he touches something, it'll be alright," said Madden.

All 5 school districts who've decided to make the change to masking a requirement say they want to return to making it optional, right now, they just have to keep monitoring the data for now.

A recent Gallup poll found 57% of K-12 parents favor mask requirements for unvaccinated students, as compared with 64% of U.S. adults.

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