Coronavirus

Parents split on IPS requiring masks regardless of age or vaccination status

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The latest guidance from Indianapolis Public Schools requires all students and staff to wear masks when they head back to school next week.

IPS is requiring masks be worn indoors regardless of age or vaccination status. This follows the latest guidance from the CDC and the Marion County Public Health Department.

IPS says they made the decision over the last three days as that new guidance came out. As for how parents feel about the decision, it is split.

In a statement sent to News 8, a representative for the district said,

“Over the past three days, updated recommendations for K-12 schools has been shared by the Centers for Disease and Prevention, the Indiana Department of Health, and the Marion County Public Health Department. After reviewing all of the guidance, we will update our mask protocol for students and staff to require everyone – regardless of vaccination status – to wear a mask while indoors. As we’ve communicated the last 18 months and will continue to reiterate, our IPS administration will remain nimble and prepared to change course based on updated recommendations and information from our health leaders and partners. The health and safety of our students and staff remain our priority, and we want to do what it takes to keep our students safely learning in person this year. Our full COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 school year can be found on our district website at myips.org.”

IPS

Parent Alicia Ranney said she was surprised to hear the announcement but relieved as she was going to send her two girls back to school in masks, regardless of whether it was mandatory.

“I actually like that thought. It is very hard to prove who has been inoculated and who hasn’t, so I like the idea of the most protection that we can possibly have. I am definitely OK with them wearing the masks,” said Ranney.

While other parents News 8 talked to did not have strong feelings either way, what is most important for Courtney Cox this year is that her son gets to go back to school.

“If it keeps the kids safe, let’s do it. With this new Delta virus coming out, the new Delta variant, whatever keeps the kids safe. It is OK. I would rather that happen then they shut the schools down,” said Cox.

The latest guidance from the school does say that those who show proof of vaccination will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to the virus but don’t show any symptoms.

Not all parents took the news of the requirement as well. Some are frustrated heading into another year of masked learning.

Some comments on our WISH-TV Facebook page read, “Its not good for the ones that have asthma and problems with allergies that are already struggling to breathe.” Another commenter wrote, “Kids don’t need mass… this will never end.”

As previously directed from the federal level, all staff and students will have to wear masks while riding the bus regardless of vaccination status.

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