Return to school means mask debates in Midstate school districts

Back to School

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The debate over masking in schools continued last night with some school board meetings lasting hours.

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In the Shippensburg school district, many parents demanded that the school board unmask students. The district voted last week in favor of a mask mandate but a lot of parents didn’t agree. A special meeting was held Monday night but the school board decided to stick with mandating masks.

South Middleton School District will require mask-wearing this year. All students will have to wear masks in classrooms and on school buses.

Central York School District made a decision earlier this summer to make masks optional. Many parents raised concerns over the delta variant and wanted a mask mandate. The board took up the issue again Monday night and decided to stick with their previous decision.

Shippensburg University changed its mask guidance and will not require masks on-campus this fall.

Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary, Alison Beam reiterated that it’s entirely up to schools to make the decision about masking rules and is recommending they follow CDC guidance to mask up.

“We, as the Departments of Health and Department of Education, are strongly encouraging school districts and school leadership to follow the CDC’s guidance,” Beam said.

Beam said there is no plan to issue any statewide mandates.

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