New Jersey school mask mandate frustrations spill out during hearing
Frustrated parents are calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to relax mandates for mask wearing in schools across the state.
An Assembly Republican hearing on masks in schools Friday featured testimony from mothers and at least one school nurse. They raised concerns that the masks take a social and psychological toll on pupils and could make it particularly hard for younger children to learn since they can’t read teachers’ lips and their peers’ facial expressions.
The hearing didn't include testimony from health officials and others who advise and support mask wearing at schools.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the “consistent and correct” use of a mask for students and staff.
Murphy previously lifted the mask mandate for indoor use for fully vaccinated state residents. But kept the mandate in place for school, saying that many students are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Children under 12 are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine. Drugmakers are currently in the process of researching the effect that vaccine will have on children and hope to have it approved for use soon.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.