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Some parents speak out after Seattle Public Schools decides to leave mask mandate in place

Governor Inslee is lifting the state's mask mandate at 11:59 on March 11, but Washington's largest school district is keeping its mask requirement for now.

SEATTLE — Washington state is lifting its mask mandate at 11:59 on March 11. That's when masks will no longer be required indoors. However, individual businesses and local governments can make their own policies.

Seattle Public Schools says until further notice, mask requirements will continue. The district's policy states that anyone at an SPS building, indoors or outdoors, must wear a mask. That is a relief for district employee Kate Schueler.

"We have a lot of students who live in multi-generational families. They may live with immunocompromised folks," said Schueler.

Schueler works directly with students as a reading interventionist, and she has several concerns about schools lifting the mask mandate.

"When we as educators heard that it was going to be March 11, that felt very soon for us. I think that the social and emotional needs of our students have come first and foremost, and it doesn't give us a lot of time to prepare our students for that change," said Schueler.

Schueler adds that it's not enough time for her, especially since she has children at home who are too young to get the vaccine. That's one of the reasons why she's grateful for the school district's decision.

However, parents let school board members know their feelings about masks during a Wednesday night virtual meeting.

"I have submitted to you a written testimony asking for an immediate end to mandatory masking for students,” said parent Scott Shock during public testimony on Wednesday.

According to the Washington Department of Health, the key COVID indicators that the state agency follows are still high but are moving in the right direction and decreasing rapidly. When it comes to COVID transmission in King County, deaths, hospitalizations, and COVID infections are on the decline with the county averaging 296 daily cases.



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