Crowley district’s temporary mask mandate starts Thursday to help prevent school closings

·2 min read
Eric Gay/AP

The Crowley school district issued a temporary mask mandate that takes effect Thursday. The mandate lasts for two weeks.

Superintendent Michael McFarland said in a message on the district’s website that the mandate was needed to help keep schools open because of the increase in COVID cases, and survey results indicated that most parents, students and teachers favored a temporary mask mandate.

According to the survey results, 77% of employees, 78% of students and 84% of parents said the district should reissue the temporary mask mandate.

McFarland said the temporary mandate will be reevaluated after two weeks.

Everyone 2 years of age and older will have to wear masks inside and on school buses, he said. The schools will provide “mask breaks” for children and adults.

“As you’ve seen in the news, school districts across North Texas and the nation have had to close due to staffing shortages caused by the virus. We must do everything we can to keep our schools open because we know that in-person learning is best for our students and families,” McFarland said in his message.

Crowley has ordered more masks, which will be available next week, he said.

McFarland also said that he is encouraging people to get their vaccines and to get tested for COVID.

The district offers a vaccination clinic and a centralized testing site.

McFarland added that he understands that there are those who are not in favor of wearing masks

“We also hear those of you who do not support mask mandates and we understand your concerns. Masks can be an inconvenience. And when not worn properly, masks are not as effective. But, based on the science, and the advice of local medical experts, and the continued spread of the Omicron variant in our community, and the support of a large majority of our school community, we are making the decision to reimplement this temporary mask mandate,” he said.

In October, Crowley dropped a previous mask mandate that was in effect since August as COVID cases decreased.

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