In absence of state mandate, Michigan schools battle over masks at local level

Individual Michigan school districts to decide if masks are required or not

Michigan is allowing individual school districts and county health departments to make their own policies.

DETROIT – Michigan is allowing individual school districts and county health departments to make their own policies.

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

“All I am trying to say is we, as parents, should have a choice,” said Melissa Gordon. “Why are there mandates? Like, if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you want your kids to wear one at school, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too.”

Gordon, a Warren mother, took to social media to express her frustration. Warren Consolidated Schools doesn’t have a mask mandate, but she thinks that might change.

“I don’t want my kids in masks all day,” Gordon said.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services all have data that show that children wearing masks at school will slow the spread of COVID-19.

More: Dr. Joneigh Khaldun: Optional school mask policies not consistent with CDC recommendations

It is a hotly contested decision that is being made on the local level. As of Thursday, Aug. 19, about 60 school districts across the state have implemented mask mandates.

If there is a wave of COVID once the 2021-22 school year starts, county health leaders said they can mandate masks on a county level.

More: Michigan COVID news


About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.