Parent group urges Portage schools to require masks

Parents of students in Portage are worried because the district won't require masks when classes resume later this month.

Portage Public Schools will not require students or staff to wear masks when classes resume in the fall. That’s despite guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that recommend masks in schools.

A group of parents thinks that’s a bad idea and is urging district leaders to reconsider.

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“Having students unmasked is irresponsible,” PPS parent Jamie Ross Washburn told WWMT.

The problem is that cases of COVID-19 are rising in Portage as in most of the country. In conjunction with that, many school-age children are too young to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, making mask wearing the best way to prevent the spread of the disease.

PPS Superintendent Mark Bielang insisted he’s between a rock and a hard place.

“This is one of those decisions that no matter where we land, we’re not going to make everybody happy,” he said.

“Well, if he’s not going to make everyone happy, the very least he could do is make everyone safe,” said Ross Washburn.


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