Doubts, Anger and Anxiety: What It’s Like to Go to School Amid Covid-19 – The New York Times

Nationally, 62 percent of parents support masking requirements for unvaccinated students and school personnel, according to a poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. But in an indication of how politicized the debate remains, more than two-thirds of Republican parents oppose school mask mandates. And nine states, led by Republican governors or legislative majorities, have banned school mask mandates, according to research from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a think tank.

There have been protests, on every side, in virtually every area of the country. And there has been open defiance by some school districts, like Broward County in Florida, which has ignored the ban on mask mandates that was imposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican.

That bitter divide is also evident in Texas, which is experiencing a surge in Covid cases. A total of 237 children in the state were hospitalized with Covid-19 on Aug. 10, and children’s wards are overwhelmed, officials said.

In response to the crisis, school officials in Dallas, Houston and Austin said this week that they would defy Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates and would require masking on campuses. Courts have backed them.

In San Antonio, too, city officials defied the executive order and required masks inside schools. Outside Lamar Elementary School, mask use certainly seemed to be happening — and the city’s mandate seemed to offer a bit of relief to worried parents.

Maria Ramirez, 50, said she had told her 8-year-old-daughter, Jaqueline, that she needed to wear a mask if she wanted to attend school in person.

“I’m 100 percent for masks,” Ms. Ramirez said.

She had a bout with the virus early in the pandemic and did not want her daughter to fall ill, especially with Delta variant infections rising.