Massachusetts Teachers Association Wants To Force Fully Vaccinated Students To Wear Masks This Fall

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Are you a preschooler? Or are you a young adult who is fully vaccinated against coronavirus?

Either way, the Massachusetts Teachers Association wants the state to force you to wear a mask when you go to school.

The state’s largest teachers union’s board of directors voted unanimously earlier this week to support “the mandatory use of face coverings in public schools from preK through higher education as part of a multi-pronged strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19,” according to its web site.

It is one of several demands that the Massachusetts Teachers Association has made in advance of the upcoming school year.

The teachers union called on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to mandate universal mask use and to follow any recommendations made by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

It also called for the following from Governor Charlie Baker:


  • Implement a mandatory mask requirement for staff and students in preK through higher education.

  • Increase efforts to vaccinate students who are eligible.

  • Provide access to free and regular in-school COVID testing.

  • Provide funding to continue to repair ventilation systems in public schools and colleges


The Massachusetts Teachers Association’s desired indoor mask mandate is in line with what the Centers for Disease Control recommends. The federal agency’s web site says that it “recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.”

Meanwhile, Baker has a different take on the matter. He doesn’t think the federal government’s guidelines are necessarily as applicable to Massachusetts as they are to the rest of the country.

“In some respects, it’s very difficult for me as the governor of the commonwealth, where 80 percent of adults have at least one dose and more than 70 percent of our population is fully vaccinated, to think about national guidance that’s very appropriate for certain parts of the country and apply that the same way here,” Baker said on Tuesday, August 3, according to State House News Service. “We’re in a very different place than other parts of the country are in. I think our guidance, which really focused on vulnerable populations and people who are most at risk, was the right way to go.”

As Baker notes, Massachusetts is far more vaccinated than the rest of the country. While 58.4 percent of the country has had at least one dose of the vaccine and 50.2 percent is fully vaccinated, those numbers are 72.9 percent and 64.1 percent, respectively, for Massachusetts.

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Teachers Association could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.


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