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Mixed opinions from Michigan parents as state health department releases new school guidelines

(Live 5)
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The masks are back.

Wednesday the state health department issued recommendations for the upcoming school year. And those recommendations are much like last year’s guidance; Mask up, keep a physical distance of at least three feet between students in classrooms, get tested and quarantine when exposed.

Some parents say the masks aren’t a big deal. But one parent told News 10 she’s considering pulling her child out of school because of it.

Schools like Gardner Junior High are quiet now, but in just a couple of weeks they’ll be teeming with energy as students return to school. With the new guidance coming down from the CDC about mask wearing, it’s causing parents like Tiffany Delaney to re-evaluate where her kids will be attending school.

“I, as a parent, will not necessarily withdraw my children from school,” Delaney said. “But, I will look at my options for private education or something along that line that where they don’t necessarily have to abide by those guidelines.”

Delaney says her kids decided to not to play school sports last year because of the state’s mask requirement and a negative COVID test in order to compete.

Delany said, “They on their own felt that they did not want to have to try to compete or to play sports with a mask on their face. They also had decided they did not want to go through with being tested. They felt ‘Why did they have to test when they sat in the same classroom with kids who did not compete in sports?’”

On the other hand there are parents like Stacey Howell who say they don’t understand why masking up is such a hot button issue.

“I just don’t understand what they big deal is with it? My daughter was in-person in school all last year and they had masks on. She didn’t complain once,” Hanson said. “She was eight years old. None of the kids complained.”

Hanson believes the controversy surrounding mask wearing at schools has more to do with the parents than the students themselves.

“That’s what I think,” she said. “It’s just the parents want to have some type of say in their kids health and everything. But, we’ve never been through a pandemic and this is all new to us, and we just have to go with the flow as it changes. It changes daily for a reason; We’ve never had to go through something like this.”

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