Despite a state governor’s order eliminating mask regulations, Seattle students may still be required to wear them until spring since the teachers union claims they ‘add normality’ to the classroom.
‘Future decisions on mask use within the district will be made in partnership with public health, and its implementation will be established after consultation and mutually agreed upon guidelines that are reached through bargaining with our labor partners,’ according to a statement from the Seattle Public Schools.
With a few noteworthy exceptions, schools across the United States will soon be removing their masks as governors and mayors relax regulations and infection rates decline.
Because the seven-day infection rate has reduced to 263, an 18 percent decline from the week before, the remainder of Washington state will be free to gather inside in schools, restaurants, and other group settings on March 11, according to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.
The Seattle Education Association, on the other hand, slammed the brakes on the proposal, claiming that children had become accustomed to wearing masks and would feel strange without them.
‘Masks contribute to feelings of safety and normalcy that schools provide our students,’ according to a letter from the labor group. ‘Removing masks will significantly disrupt that sense of normalcy, and educators will struggle to explain to students why we are removing masks so soon.’
The Seattle school district admitted that it was shackled by the teachers’ union and couldn’t move forward with lifting the face-covering ban.
Public school administrators said that they will have to ‘negotiate with the Seattle Education Association, as required by the current collective bargaining agreement, to arrive at a mutually agreeable position regarding any permanent change to mask use requirements throughout the district.’
Steve Murch, a Seattle entrepreneur, took to Twitter to criticize the union’s arbitrary viewpoint indicated in their letter.
‘Seattle Teachers Union letter, advocating to keep all 56,000 K-12th graders masked until “at least May 1st,’ he posted to social media. ‘This despite and state department of health guidelines. They don’t cite a single study which shows that mask mandates change outcomes. Follow the science, or nah?’
Teachers union president Jennifer Matter told NPR, ‘We believe there should be no rush to lift the mask mandate.’
‘We have people who are immunocompromised, we have pregnant educators, we have educators who have children of their own that are under 5 years of age that cannot be vaccinated,’ she told the public radio station.
According to Matter’s union’s letter, one of the arguments for keeping masks on pupils is that it would be difficult for instructors to explain the policy to youngsters.
Many children are also unvaccinated, according to the labor union.
“A large number of children under 12 remain unvaccinated with disproportionately higher numbers of those living in our more socially and economically diverse communities. It is important that with masking changes the voices of those most vulnerable to COVID be heard, Educators and Students alike,” according to the teachers union letter.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, 12 percent of students aged 10 to 19 have had their vaccinations, while 16 percent of children aged 5 to 10 have received their vaccinations. The vaccination is not recommended for children under the age of five.
Children five years old and younger will still be forced to cover up in day care, PreK, and ThreeK settings in New York City, according to Mayor Eric Adams.
A group of New York parents cited a World Health Organization advice that masks are not beneficial to children in that age bracket.
‘These mandates are just anti-science, anti-parent and anti-child, they are against the law,’ Michael Chessa, an attorney and father of a three-year-old daughter, told the Daily Mail.