(WXYZ) — The big debate over masks in schools is raging in Michigan as the new school year approaches. Districts, teachers and parents are all grappling with how best to keep students safe.
This week, a measure was introduced in Lansing to ban all school mask mandates, in stark contrast to the state health department's guidance to require universal masking.
On Tuesday night at the Woodhaven-Brownstown School Board meeting, the issue was at the center of controversy.
When Woodhaven-Brownstown students and staff return to the classroom on Sept. 7, masks will be encouraged but not required. Some parents are angry the district is not adhering to strict guidance from the CDC which advises universal masking as the Delta variant rips through the country.
"I understand that parents make choices with their family in mind, but these freedoms should change when they endanger the lives of others," one parent said.
Republican State Rep. John Damoose of Harbor Springs wants to ban mask mandates from public schools intermediate schools and charter schools. He introduced House Bill 5269 this week in an effort to do it.
He said on his Facebook page, "wearing masks is a decision that should be made by parents, families, and their physicians - not by administrators and school boards."
By contrast, Wayne County is nearly mirroring the state health department on its suggestions for fall in its latest public health advisory, strongly recommending districts implement consistent and proper mask usage, social distancing, proper ventilation, vaccine promotion and symptom monitoring and testing.
These debates are likely to only continue throughout the country as we approach and enter the school year.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.