Massachusetts lawmaker proposes mask mandate for all students

SWANSEA, M.A. (WLNE)- As Massachusetts students begin to gather school supplies for the fall, Sen. Rebecca Rausch (D-Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex) believes masks should top the list.

“We need to have universal masking for everyone in schools for everyone 2 and up,” Sen. Rausch said.

With students under 12 not being eligible for the vaccine and several counties considered high transmission, Rausch has proposed a bill with would make masks to all students regardless of vaccination for all students in Massachusetts.

Both the CDC and The American Academy of Pediatrics in k-12 schools wear a mask regardless of vaccination.

“We’re the people who are elected to actually effectuate the recommendations of the data driven scientific bodies and scientific experts. That’s exactly what this bill will deliver in the governor failing to provide it,” Sen. Rausch said.

But where do parents stand on the issue?

Stacie Brito, a New Bedford resident with two children says a mandate would prevent the mental and emotional toll of having to go back to remote learning.

“I feel like there is a lot more harm that can be done with that with kids being home not having that interaction. I saw what it did to my daughter last year and I feel like the masks are a good idea to make sure the kids stay in school,” Brito said.

Other disagree, Jason Gracia, a Swansea father said he prefers masks being a recommendation, not a requirement.

“Earlier they said once you’re vaccinated you don’t need a mask and now they’re saying you need it too. I’m not comfortable with being told what to do, I’m comfortable with guidance and suggestions but ultimately it’s like everything in your household, it should be up to you as a parent.”

The bill would also allow for students to schedule a vaccine appointment during school hours without being marked absent.

Categories: Massachusetts, News