Metro School Districts React To OKCPS Mask Requirement


Friday, August 13th 2021, 10:26 pm
By: Feliz Romero


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma City Public Schools announced a mask requirement Friday. It's the second school system to do so this week.

School districts are once again having to decide, is a mask requirement necessary as COVID-19 cases spread.

“We believe that these two things, masks and vaccinations, will help us meet the objectives of safe and happy and let’s keep the doors open,” said OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel.

OKCPS will require students and staff to wear a mask indoors, starting Monday August 16, on school buses and at school events.

“Those kids they don’t live by themselves they go home to their parents, see their grandparents all that and it’s just a community spread issue,” said Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s Chief Operations Officer Phil Maytubby.

News 9 reached out to neighboring districts.

Moore Public Schools said:

“Some districts have chosen to implement a mask mandate and only after parents or guardians summit a form, they will allow exemptions. This is essentially the same recommendation that Moore Public Schools has implemented but we do not require a form.”

“It’s pretty important because right now especially with a large majority of the school age kids not able to get vaccinated it is very likely that we are going to see an expansion in our case rate,” said Maytubby.

Yukon Public Schools is monitoring the situation and information from the health department and "continuing to encourage but not require masks."

Norman Public Schools said its return to learn plan will remain intact, at this time.

Mustang Public Schools will follow legal counsel as it related to the new law preventing mask mandates.

“So long as those requests for personal exemptions are not denied I believe it does comply with the law,” said Rep. Jon Echols, the Republican floor leader.

Related: Oklahoma Republican Lawmakers Split Over Whether School Mask Requirements Violate State Law  

Edmond Public Schools said in a statement:

"Defying the mask mandate outlined in Senate Bill 658 goes against our core beliefs of following state law."

The superintendent said they plan on working with "rather than against our elected officials."

In Oklahoma City, those who want to opt out of the mask requirement can site religious, health or personal reasons.