The conversation surrounding masking in schools is taking up a lot of time and creating a lot of stress for school districts and families. Let’s put the subject of universal masking in the context of the recent recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is that students should wear masks in school, regardless of vaccination status. Why in the world would we be asking superintendents and school boards to make this decision?

Since the majority of children are not yet eligible for vaccines, we don’t have a lot of options for protection right now, so we must use the ones we’ve got. Would we let the passengers on a plane decide which approach is best in an emergency?

I get local-control concerns, but at this stage of the pandemic, could we at least start the year with masks on and see how things go? We could buckle up, return to our seats and then be free to roam the cabin again when it’s safe to.

I ask those with the authority to require masking in schools to please exercise it to help us maintain the highest possible level of safety in our schools. This will not be forever. One bad outcome will be.

Without universal masking, I really can’t, in good conscience, tell either my colleagues, students or families that everything possible is being done to protect them in school. Without masking, we will fall short of doing the best we can.

Judy Doran, R.N.

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