August 11, 2021
Students Support Statewide Mask Mandate
The Kentucky Student Voice Team strongly supports the statewide mask mandate for schools issued by Governor Beshear Tuesday evening. While we were hopeful to return to school without masks, rising COVID-19 rates and the spread of the Delta Variant have made doing so unsafe. Despite what some have said about the negative effects of wearing a mask in school, public health experts tell us that masks are the least invasive way to protect students and ensure a return to the type of education experience we know and miss.
Without a mask mandate, our districts are more likely to be compelled to move school online or risk further spreading COVID-19 among students, their teachers, and their families. We know that online learning exacerbates disparities for young people with poor internet access, with parents who cannot work from home, and with special needs, and other marginalized communities. But with a mask mandate in place for our schools, we can better ensure that these students receive the resources they need, that fewer of us suffer from the worst effects of COVID-19, and that we receive the fullest possible education experience.
The Kentucky Student Voice Team is a statewide organization of young people who are co-creating more just, democratic Kentucky schools & communities as research, policy & advocacy partners.