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Anne Arundel County Withdraws Motion To Make Masks Optional In Schools

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) - Anne Arundel County school board members withdrew a motion that would have made masks optional in the district.

School board members decided to table the motion after the Maryland State Department of Education approved emergency regulation last week that will implement statewide mask mandates in public school facilities.

During Wednesday's board meeting, leaders got an earful from parents who wanted to confront school board members face to face, but they couldn't because the meeting was virtual.

"We voted you into office, we have the absolute right to be able to look you straight in the eye without giving you the opportunity to multitask," said Kim Pratta.

Some parents supported masks in schools, but others did not.

"As a parent, I want the ability to choose whether my kids wear masks or not," said one woman who spoke during the public comment period.

Anne Arundel County joined Baltimore City,  Baltimore County, Howard County and Harford County in making masks mandatory in schools.

"The only reason schools are mandating masks is to make themselves feel better and protect themselves optically and politically," said one parent who disagrees with mask mandates in schools.

The CDC recently released a report that said an unvaccinated teacher in California who didn't wear a mask at times, infected half the students in her elementary school class after she got the virus.

A diagram showed that 80% of the students in the front row caught COVID-19. The virus also infected students in other rows in the classroom.

Ed Traver, a fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine tweeted "If teacher has no mask, move to the back of the class."

State lawmakers are expected to give final approval to the emergency regulation that will require masks in all Maryland public schools by mid-September.

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