BOSTON (CBS) – With the start of school in a matter of weeks many cities and towns in Massachusetts still have not decided whether to require masks for students and staff in the fall.
In a letter to parents Friday, Boston Public School Superintendent Dr. Brenda Cassellius said masks will be required. “BPS expects that all students and staff will be required to wear masks while inside school buildings and during yellow bus transportation when they return to school in September,” Cassellius said.READ MORE: Topsfield Fair Returns Friday After Year Off Due To Pandemic
BPS does not plan to mandate physical distancing in schools this fall.
Among parents it’s still a debate.
“School starts in a month and a half and I have no clue what we’re doing,” said parent Jen LaPlante.
“I know my kids complain about it all the time, not being able to breathe,” said Katrina Johnson.READ MORE: MBTA Says Inspectors Checked Escalator 3 Weeks Before It Malfunctioned
Parent Paulina Fuentes says she’s concerned about the spreading delta variant. “You never know, if kids not wearing masks it could go out of hand quickly,” she said.
The state has said masks won’t be required but will issue further guidance before the start of school and many cities and towns are waiting for that.
In Boston, acting Mayor Kim Janey has said students will be wearing masks as they are required now in all municipal buildings, but Friday seemed to couch her remarks. “Forthcoming there will be more discussion,” Janey said. “As we get closer to the beginning of the school year in the coming weeks a full plan will be released before the start of the school year.”
The debate comes as Covid cases are ticking up in the state, and the delta variant continues spreading. But a grassroots movement of parents “Mass Against Mandates”, says it’s trying to be heard that masks should not be required, and it should be a parent’s choice.
“The chances of it spreading from child to adult are lower than from adult to adult,” said Alexa Deuso, a member of the group. “I don’t understand why we’re trying to mask children when they’re not superspreaders.”MORE NEWS: I-Team: Consumers Report Car Dealers For Using Deceptive Advertising Tactics
For now, parents say they want information, and some are more patient than others. “I don’t blame them, it’s natural to see how things evolve before they know what to do,” said Paulina Fuentes.