Controversy over masks in Tucson-area schools dividing communities | Subscriber


“I’m sure we have teachers who would prefer not to have to wear a mask, but quite honestly, as long as everyone is compliant and we don’t have so many outbreaks, we’re going to continue with the requirements. mask until the CDC says we don’t have to.

Unlike TUSD, in the Vail and Marana school districts, board members were divided on the issue of mask mandates. And in the amphitheater district, even though there is a small group of clearly speaking community members who oppose the mask’s mandate, the board has been publicly united to keep one in place. place for now.

A group of community members have been showing up at every Amphi school board meeting for the past few weeks to express their anger at the mask’s mandate, but this message is largely contained in the board meetings and not in the schools, said Lisa Millerd, teacher and president of the District Education Association. Although, just like in Marana, the teachers feel overworked and exhausted in large part due to understaffing, she says.

“Everyone’s plate I spoke to is full and overflowing,” she said.

The level of tension and exposure to COVID-19 has created an environment in which people are often sick or must be quarantined, exacerbating the workload for teachers in addition to already existing staff shortages, according to educators.

Pima County is currently in a state of high transmission of the COVID-19 virus. There have been nearly 3,000 cases in Tucson schools, 96 outbreaks and more than 8,000 people have been quarantined in just over two months. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases in schools involve children, many of whom are under 12 and therefore not eligible for a vaccine.


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