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Parents weigh in on returning to school amid COVID-19 - CBS News poll

Schools’ patchwork mask rules create confusion
School districts’ patchwork mask rules create confusion 01:40

As the school year gets underway, a majority of parents nationwide support requiring students to wear masks, as most express at least some concern about their children contracting the coronavirus at school. Parents are split, however, on whether schools should require vaccines for children currently eligible to get one, but those most concerned about their kids getting the virus overwhelmingly favor that requirement. 

Like other views about coronavirus that we see among the broader public, views among parents also divide largely along political lines. Republicans have long been less concerned than Democrats about getting the virus, and here too, we see the same partisan divide with regard to parents' concern about their children contracting the virus in school. 


With debates over mask mandates in schools taking place across the country, far more parents support requiring masks for students in their children's school than making them optional.


 There is less support for schools mandating vaccines for those children eligible to get it, than there is for masks.


Support for masks and vaccine requirements comes overwhelmingly from parents concerned about their children contracting the virus in school. Among parents "very" concerned, 75% favor schools requiring vaccines for children who are eligible, but that drops to 50% among those "somewhat" concerned and even further declines among those expressing little or no concern at all.  

Parents who are Republican are less concerned than Democrats about their children getting COVID and these partisan views extend to opinion on masks and vaccine mandates. 


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,142 U.S. adult residents interviewed between August 18-20, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey, and the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, as well as 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error for the total sample is ±2.3 points.  The margin of error for parents of school-aged children is +/- 5.1 pts.


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