Why More and More Idaho Schools Are Eliminating Mandatory Mask Wearing
Prior to Covid, most folks didn't know what a mask mandate was or cared to research it. The thought of anyone/government forcing Americans to don a mask was something out of a science fiction movie. We all know what happened next; Covid hit, and you couldn't go anywhere without wearing a mask.
Boise strong-armed businesses with threats of losing their licenses if they did not force customers to wear masks inside. Some companies called Boise Police to escort non mask wearers out of their stores. As bad as the mask mandates were for adults, they were even more controversial for students going to Idaho public schools.
School board meetings resembled wild football games as parents made all children mask up. The state's largest school district, West Ada, saw parents wear yellow protesting the board's decision to reintroduce mask mandates. The board hired a new superintendent, and a few board members were replaced due to their orders.
Last month, Idaho Education News reported that mask mandates will be eliminated in the West Ada system. Now the Idaho Statesman says the Boise School District will hold a meeting this Monday to consider a 'mask optional' policy. The state's Covid infection rates have been declining along with the hospitals coming out of the crisis standards of care protocols.
The optional mask policy could only apply to vaccinated students. Long before Covid landed in Idaho, the Gem State has struggled with groups opting not to vaccinate themselves or their children.
Like West Ada, the Caldwell School District lifted their mandate last month, reports Idaho Education News. Parents along with some medical experts have testified that the masks do not allow enough oxygen to get to the brain of still-developing children. They point out that those with respiratory issues have trouble breathing by wearing masks. The social impact on mask-wearing kids has been identified as detrimental to their social developmental skills.
Could we finally be seeing the beginning of the end of forced mask-wearing in Idaho Schools?
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