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This expert says we need mask and vaccine mandates for kids in school

States are banning mask mandates in schools. Is this the wrong decision?

SHARE This expert says we need mask and vaccine mandates for kids in school
David Phillips holds a sign in support of school mask mandates.

David Phillips holds a sign in support of school mask mandates outside of the Utah State Board of Education office in Salt Lake City on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Questions continue to emerge about what’s going to happen this fall with the coronavirus in schools, as mask mandates for children continue to be called into question.

What to know about Texas, Florida and school mask mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed an executive order that will prohibit mask mandates in schools, per CBS Miami.

  • On Monday, his office said the Florida Board of Education could withhold superintendents' and school board members' salaries if they defy the order, according to CBS Miami.
  • Some Florida education officials want students to get a doctor’s note before they decide whether or not to wear a mask, Politico reports.

Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed an executive order that Texas schools can’t require masks for students, per The Texas Tribune. Groups have started to fight back against the requirement.

In fact, Dallas County looks to be fighting the ruling from Abbott. Per The Dallas Morning News, Dallas health officials said masks will be necessary to combat the delta variant, especially for those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

What states ban mask mandates in school?

Texas and Florida aren’t alone. Per CNN, Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah all prohibit school districts from requiring their students to mask up.

Should children wear masks in school?

Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN that schools will lead to more COVID-19 cases this fall — especially without universal masking.

  • “It’s not even going to be enough to have mask mandates in the schools,” he said. “We need all of the adolescents vaccinated, and really we need to move towards vaccine mandates for the 12- to 17-year-olds in the schools.”

Hotez said it will be important for schools to mandate masks and vaccination for those who can get the vaccine in order to keep children safe.

  • “If we’re going to give our fighting chance to have a successful school year, we’re going to need everyone who is vaccine eligible to get vaccinated and everybody masked,” Hotez told CNN.