Schools Divided On Face Mask Guidance

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Students walk down the hallway at Tussahaw Elementary school in McDonough, Georgia.
Most states are leaving it up to the schools to decide on the rules.

When it comes to face masks, most states are leaving it up to local schools to decide on the rules.

One Atlanta school, Tusshaw Elementary, face coverings are optional and more than 60 percent of students were wearing masks in four classrooms visited by a reporter, though some had them pulled down.

Parents say they've had mixed emotions around the mask guidance. Daniel Denny sent both his children to Tussahaw with masks but said face coverings should be up to parents.

"To each his own," he said. "You take care of your household how you choose."

Kimberly Vining, a parent of two middle school students, strongly approved of the policy, saying it will make things much easier for children with asthma or anxiety about wearing masks.

“I have faith in God and I'm not going to live in fear for a virus that has a 98% survival rate,” she said.

At least 28 of Georgia's more than 180 school districts are requiring masks, encompassing more than 38% of the state’s public school students.

California, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington state intend to require masks for all students and teachers regardless of vaccination status. At the other end of the spectrum, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah have banned mask requirements in public schools.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.