Study of 600 Michigan parents shows mask mandates in schools has state divided

Research shows masks slow spread of COVID

Statewide poll on school masks rules shows parents are polarized

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – Mask mandates in schools have become a controversial topic.

The CDC recommends that all students and school staff wear face masks and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a similar recommendation. There have been no mask mandates at the federal or state level for K-12 students or college students.

A study commissioned by the K-12 Alliance of Michigan shows the mask issue is decidedly polarizing.

The Wayne County Health Department is mandating masks in all classrooms. The parents Local 4 spoke with say they’re OK with the mask requirement.

The Glengariff Group surveyed 600 Michigan parents in the last week of August and the data shows a divided state when it comes to requiring masks to protect students from coronavirus in schools.

The group asked the parents: Do you believe all students should be required to wear masks in school or do you believe parents should be allowed to make that decision for their child? Nearly 42% of those parents said all children should wear masks while 54.5% said parents should be left to make that decision.

They asked about masks in several different ways and the results reveal the percentage of answers on each side is almost exactly even. When asked if students and employees should be required to wear masks in schools just under 50% said yes and 45.3% said no. The study had a margin of error of 4%.

The divide grew tighter when they asked if students and employees should be required to wear masks in schools. Those in support landed at 38.7% and those strongly opposed were at 36.5%.

The study also found a difference depending on population density. Among parents who said they live in urban areas of the state, 76% supported school mask requirements. That number dropped to 56% in suburban areas and 39% in areas categorized as a small town and 23% in rural areas.

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About the Author:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.