Parents spar over masks at Utica Community Schools

School district opting to start mask-optional for fall semester.

Parents spar over masks at Utica Community Schools

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – In what has become common at school board meetings across Metro Detroit, parents in favor of and against masks square off, and school boards are repeatedly calling for civility.

Utica Community Schools is the largest school district in Macomb County and is opting to start mask optional for fall semester. Superintendent Robert Monroe said it depends on parents and the choices they and their students make as to whether that can continue.

Read: Warren Consolidated Schools to require masks for all students, staff

Read: Oakland University requiring everyone to be vaccinated for in-person classes

Monroe showed parents the data he looks at including countywide infections as well as positivity rates in the various communities the school district serves.

When it came time for public comment, there were about 90 parents in attendance out of a community that has approximately 60,000 parents. Most of those against masks stuck with only the mask issue while others went further saying no to testing and quarantines.

Some parents in favor want a universal mask mandate while others were willing to start the year with masks and then ease up depending on case positivity.

Watch the full report in the video above.

Read: Macomb County school district to hire 10 more social workers, counselors with grant

Experts share tips on how to prevent bullying over mask use in schools

Some parents are concerned that their children may be bullied for wearing masks in schools where masks are not mandated.

An expert spoke with Local 4 and shared advice on how to discuss the topic with children. During the 2020 school year, masks were mandatory for everyone.

This year, there are different policies that vary between districts which means some children will be attending schools where masks are optional. As the start of the school year approaches, experts said it’s important to speak to children about the situation.

Click here to read more.

Tracking Michigan school districts, colleges requiring masks for 2021-2022 school year

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