Ohio education leaders push mask mandate, opposition stands firm

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — As delta variant cases rise across the Ohio and the nation, the mask debate in schools continues to heat up.

Currently, Governor Mike DeWine isn’t mandating masks, leaving the decision up to school districts. Now, many educational leaders are pleading with districts across the state to tighten up their mask policies.

“We want our students in the classrooms, and the way that we can have that is people who are willing to get vaccinated get vaccinated, and everyone wearing a mask,” said Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers.

On the other side of the argument, many parents believe that forcing masks in the classroom isn’t the move.

“We are not opposed to masking in school. The thing that we are opposed to is the mandating of masking,” said Cindi Greene, a Beavercreek parent.

Greene has two children in Beavercreek City Schools, where masks are currently mandated. She feels that mask mandates limit certain children’s education. “Some of those children that are actually not developing as they should in their education, and moving forward as much as other kids in the past because of their inability to communicate effectively.”

Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association, said that wearing a mask shouldn’t be just about one person. “This is a decision that effects every single person in the classroom, every single person in the school, every single person in the community.”

On the other side, Greene remains hopeful that people will listen to parents who might have concerns, and said she’s had many productive conversations with people who have opposing opinions on masks.

“As a parent it makes you feel helpless. I know it makes me feel helpless. It doesn’t help me to have to explain to my kids why I’m not able to make the decision for them, their school is making it,” Greene said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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