The state’s teacher’s union is calling on Gov. Tate Reeves to mandate masks in schools in the fall.
Monday afternoon the Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE) is hosting a conversation with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers regarding back to school and COVID-19.
MAE called upon Governor Tate Reeves in a letter discussing the spike in COVID-19 cases and the state’s low vaccination rate.
“With the Delta variant taking hold in communities across Mississippi, the concerning trajectory of new COVID-19 cases, and our state’s low vaccination rate, we are asking the governor to reconsider his position on masks in Mississippi schools and mandate the use of masks for all individuals inside our buildings,” said MAE president Erica Jones.
In a video posted by the Mississippi Association of Educators, Jones states that the teacher’s union is asking the Governor to reconsider his position on masks in Mississippi schools and mandate the use of masks for all individuals.
After Governor Reeves lifted the mask mandate in March, he has stated that he has no intention of enforcing another mask mandate.
Governor Tate Reeves told Y’all Politics in May that he does not anticipate a state mask mandate for K-12 schools when students return in August 2022.
Students and educators are already back in schools, explains Erica Jones.
“It should be a return to normalcy and a celebration of what we have overcome together. Instead, we are— yet again — facing surging COVID numbers and no comprehensive, statewide plan to protect those students and educators or their families,” stated Jones.
Though the mask mandate has expired, local districts may require additional measures at their own discretion. Madison, Rankin, Clinton, DeSoto and those on the Gulf Coast, are currently making masks optional. However, Jackson Public Schools and West Tallahatchie School District will require students and teachers to wear masks.
“It is imperative that schools see state-led intervention beyond advising mask wear among unvaccinated students and educators,” stated Jones.
You can watch the entire message from MAE president Erica Jones below.