Masks in School

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)- With months of planning on how to reopen schools in Hamilton County, education leaders have been dealt another obstacle — A Mask Mandate.

Hamilton County school leaders are encouraging students of all ages to wear mask this school year.

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“We want everyone to wear a mask.” said Communications Officer Tim Hensley.

News 12 polled parents on Facebook about whether they agree with students being required to wear mask in school.

With over 3 thousand votes tallied so far, 2 thousand say they disapprove.

“I don’t understand how you can disagree with a mask mandate.” said Andrew Meador

Meador is a STEM teacher at Chattanooga Christian School.

His students are currently wearing mask for summer learning programs.

“We’re really just trying to do not the bare minimum but what makes the most sense without sending every kid to school with a full helmet on” said Meador.

Meador discusses possible obstacles teachers and students may face this year, “When you’re wearing a mask you generally have to talk louder and I think there is going to be a great temptation to take the mask off while you’re instructing. Being able to provide time to break if students need a break from the mask.”

News 12 asked Communications Officer of Hamilton County Schools Tim Hensley if he believes masks will be encouraged past September 8th which is when the mask mandate in Hamilton County is set to end.

“As we move through the situation we’ll look at the community health condition. What are our number of cases” said Hensley.

Meador says he personally spoke with a few parents about this school year, “They are all pro the mask. They want their students to be in school in person.

Hensley says masks are expected to be provided by parents but schools offer supplies in emergency situations.