ORLANDO, Fla. — As Central Florida school districts prepare for the first day back to school, the debate over mask-wearing in schools is intensifyin while COVID-19 cases climb.
Recently, The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidance for kids returning to the classroom.
The AAP is recommending that children ages 2 and up should mask up in school, whether vaccinated or not.
Their recent recommendation goes against The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines which suggest vaccinated kids and staff can go without masks.
“We know that there are lots of kids in our school buildings who are younger than 12 and not yet eligible to be vaccinated,” said President of the American Academy of Pediatric Dr. Lee Savio Beers.
Currently, Orange County students will return to the classroom with no masks required.
Now, parents and teachers are calling on the school district to go back to the drawing board before school starts on Aug 10.
“They must revisit this before pre planning, before teachers have to return to school,” said Orange County Teachers Association President Wendy Doromal. “And certainly before students have to return to school. It’s very reckless to make decisions and not look at them again.”
Doromal stated that concerns are growing as the highly contagious delta variant fuels an increase in infections across the county.
“Teachers are very fearful. Parents have been telling us they’re fearful. We see on Facebook and on other social media, people calling for them to do this sensible thing, and protect our students and teachers and our community at large,” Doromal said.
Some parents argue that masks should remain optional.
Orange County Public Schools said the superintendent has the authority to implement stricter face-covering requirements based on any guidance from the CDC or other governmental entities.
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