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State Education Superintendent Mackey likens school mask mandates to uniform requirements — ‘Mask is just part of that attire’

Some public school parents have objected to masking requirements of schools throughout Alabama mandated in the name of mitigating the threat of COVID-19.

Such measures have even led to legislation proposed that would forbid such requirements.

However, State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey says currently, such requirements are permissible in Alabama’s public schools.

During an appearance on APTV’s “Capitol Journal” on Friday, Mackey explained that local school boards would determine mask requirements. He likened such mandates to the school uniform requirements of some school systems around the state.

“Under the current process where we are with no state health emergency, that remains a local decision,” he said. “Local school boards have really struggled with that. I know many communities — they originally said no masks. And then, as numbers have grown in those communities, they’ve come back and added that provision in. The state health department was very helpful to us when they released this week a toolkit, and they said that students who are within three feet of one another but if they’re wearing a mask will not have to be isolated or quarantined or put out of school. And so, I think encouraged a lot of people to go ahead and say, ‘Well, it’s going to be much easier to manage this year than it was last year.”

“In a lot of school districts, it is just a recommendation,” Mackey added. “Schools are recommending to parents. I certainly recommend it, too. I follow the advice that Dr. Harris is giving us. It’s a best practice for students to be wearing masks. But when you go requirement, that’s a whole other level. And again, that is a local school board decision. We liken it to dress code. We have schools in the state that have uniforms required. We have schools that don’t have uniforms required. But a local school board definitely has the authority to make those decisions about how students will be attired on campus, and that mask is just part of that attire.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

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