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Teachers react to schools making masks optional

Three school systems make mask changes after spring break
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 8:50 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2022 at 10:22 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Three Birmingham-area school districts will remove mask requirements on April 4.

Because of low COVID-19 numbers in the county, Birmingham City Schools, Bessemer City Schools, and Fairfield schools will let masking be optional for staff and students.

President of the Jefferson County American Federation of Teachers, Marrianne Hayward, said that most teachers are OK with the mask changes for now.

She said masks were the largest COVID concern from teachers this school year, along with students being absent from quarantine rules. She said many teachers hope mask requirement changes also means they’ll see improvements in attendance. Hayward said overall, some teachers still feel like face coverings are needed with possibilities of another COVID spike in the future, but some feel like it’s OK to remove them.

“I think that’s a good compromise for now,” Hayward said. “I think if the COVID positivity rate goes up, then it’s going to be a concern again. Those who have issues unless everyone is in a mask, will have issues with it once again.”

Fairfield and Bessemer schools said the decision comes after seeing no COVID infections last week. Birmingham schools only saw three students positive and two teachers with the virus last week.

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