Some fear students who aren’t eligible for vaccines may die. Others worry about having to enforce social distancing. Or they worry about bringing the virus home to family.
Here are some of their stories, as told in their own words. Their responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Pam • Oklahoma
I just can’t imagine having students that are there one day and not the next. Or even if they don’t die, what if they’re hospitalized and have to go through that traumatic experience? If I have someone walk into my room with a weapon, I would do everything I could to protect my kids. And so this just seems so backwards that I can’t protect them from something that I can’t see.
Julie • Houston
I don’t see how the governor has the power to tell the school districts what to do, it’s ridiculous. It’s a public health issue. The least we could do is to wear masks. Those work. The kids all wore them last year and they didn’t have any problem. Not one kid. And I have older students, they’re seniors. When the kids have more sense than the district, you have wonder what the school district’s doing. And I hate to say this, but for Texas, it’s going to take children dying for the governor to take that no mask mandate away.
Victoria • Palm Beach County, Florida
I worry since I live in one of the largest counties in Florida and masks are not allowed to be enforced in schools that there will be a lot of Covid cases in our area. My school district has become very creative with their mandate. They’re doing a loophole where masks are now required for students unless a parent has written an opt out letter.
Jennifer • Avondale, Arizona
I’m a mom in the district and I’m a teacher in the district. My older daughter’s school has already had positive Covid cases. However, that school was on it fast, they made the kids stay home and it hasn’t spread to other students. And I’m teaching with someone that has a cough and a fever. She should have been sent home. These kinds of things are happening now within the same district. I would be livid if I found out my child’s teacher had a fever and a cough and was teaching.
Diane • Jacksonville, Florida
I worry that while I am vaccinated and not required to wear my mask, my students are not vaccinated and are unmasked too. It has to be all or nothing. We can’t pick and choose who wears masks and who doesn’t. It’s frustrating. I would rather teach remotely until everyone is on the same page.
We did well last year because we had so many protocols in place with cleaning, wearing masks, socially distancing, quarantining and contact tracing. And all of that seems to have just gone away. We may not all agree politically, that’s fine, but we all have a common enemy and that enemy is Covid. Why are we not unified on that?