As K-12 schools prepare to resume in-person learning in Michigan and across the nation this fall, many are discussing whether children should be required to wear face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all students and school staff wear face masks. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her chief medical officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, are also recommending that face coverings are worn this fall.
But their recommendations are not mandates, and face masks are not currently required for children at Michigan or U.S. schools.
The Michigan State Board of Education talked about the issue this week in a meeting that became heated among some.
Republican members of the board of education wanted to pass a resolution that would prevent a mask mandate, but that did not go through. The board then decided to focus on whether local districts will require face masks or not.
Many parents called into the meeting to share their opinions about mask mandates at their children’s schools. While the parents’ opinions differ, it is clear that they feel strongly about the issue.
During a three-hour meeting, a discussion got heated between Vice President Pamela Pugh and Treasurer Tom McMillin. You can see some of the conversation in the video report above.
The board of education doesn’t have the power to order a mask mandate. Instead, with an 8-2 vote, the board decided to give local school boards the authority to decide if students should mask up during school.
Watch the full report in the video player above.