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Tipsheet

This School District is STILL Forcibly Masking Its Students

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

It's so shocking that some school districts would still be forcibly masking students, that one might wonder if this is really an article from April 2022, but it is. As Elizabeth Beyer and Emily Hamer of the Wisconsin State Journal reported last week, "Masks will continue to be required in Madison School District through May."

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The decision will be revisited on May 6. As the report cited the district as saying:

“(The school district’s) main goal is to keep schools open and scholars learning safely in-person,” the district said in a statement. “(The district) strongly believes this is in the best interest of students, families, staff and the community.” 

Madison’s decision to extend the mandate was made after meetings between district staff and medical advisers, who recommended continuing to mask up indoors, the district said.

The report also notes that "Madison is one of the last remaining districts in Dane County to still have a mask mandate in place after others relaxed their policies," but it's not merely that it's one of the last remaining districts in the county. Madison is an outlier to the rest of the country. 

Further, the United States was an anomaly compared to the western world, with how long it forcibly masked its students. Back in November, I covered how this country was one of just seven western countries recommending students wear masks. That was five months ago. Mask mandates have been rolled back en masse in many states just recently, as Democratic governors finally woke up to the political science about how unpopular forcibly masking schoolchildren was. Mask mandates had been lifted, though, or were even outright banned, in states run by Republican governors, such as Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis, many months prior. 

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The trend is heading further and further away from mask mandates. Hawaii remains the only state with a mask mandate. 

In late February, which was conveniently shortly before President Joe Biden was to give his State of the Union address, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated their masking guidelines, including for schoolchildren. Counties that are considered at "low" or "medium" risk for the Wuhan coronavirus, do not have to wear a mask according to CDC guidelines, though those at "high risk for severe illness" in "medium" counties are advised to talk to their doctor about masking. Dane County is considered to be at "low" risk.

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