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Clark County School District lifting mask mandate draws relief, skepticism

masked student
Posted at 3:47 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 20:35:44-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A sense of relief for many but a knee-jerk decision coming too soon for others. Mixed reactions from parents and teachers about the Clark County School District lifting its mask mandate. The news came after Governor Steve Sisolak announced the end of the state mask mandate.

“My daughter couldn’t get out of bed. She was sick. She didn’t know what was going on with her.”

It was a scary time for Andreas Hale after his daughter and wife caught COVID-19 after the Christmas holiday.

“Anything I can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again; I’m going to do it,” he said.

This means keeping his daughter masked when she attends school. Hale says CCSD’s decision to lift the mask mandate is coming too soon.

RELATED STORY: Masks no longer required at Clark County School District schools after today, district says

“It feels like we’re loosening the reins at the wrong time when we’re not in the clear,” he said.

But Erin Philips with Power2Parent feels it’s the right time. She says it will help students mental health and create a better learning environment.

“We really want to be able to see their face. We need them to be able to see adult faces, so I am thrilled,” she said.

Her parent group opposed the mandate and says the decision to mask should be a parent's choice.

“There are kids whose parents may think they should still wear masks at school, and we want to respect that. Parents should be able to choose, but if the parents believe the child is suffering and is not benefitting from wearing the mask, the parent should be able to choose that,” Phillips said.

In a statement and voicemail to parents, CCSD says it welcomed governor Steve Sisolak’s decision to lift the mask mandate and will now do the same. The district says masking will now be a choice.

“Because COVID-19 continues, students and employees of CCSD can make the individual choice to continue masking. At this time, all other COVID-19 mitigation measures remain in effect,” a voicemail sent to parents said.

The Clark County Education Association teacher’s union also supports the change. However, teacher Ryan Fromoltz says he’s still going to continue being masked as he’s immuno-compromised.

“Now we’re cramming 30 to 40 kids in secondary classrooms so we know an outbreak is still possible because if a kid comes in unmasked and get sick, then we could still have some issues,” he said.

While there’s no more mandatory masking on campuses, kids riding school buses still need to be masked as those rules are governed by federal guidelines.