Local school districts react to Gov. Ivey’s mask order

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 4:27 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Another month - that’s how long the mask mandate will continue in Alabama.

Gov. Kay Ivey is throwing her support behind folks continuing to wear face coverings while in public.

The mandate, which was initially set to expire on Friday, will now run through Aug. 31 with one change. Masks are now required for students in second grade through college.

It doesn’t matter if you go to a public school or private school. All school-aged children from second grade and up must always have a face covering on in the school.

At Wednesday’s announcement, the governor was adamant about getting students back in schools. She said Alabama doesn’t have the luxury of not having children in the classroom adding that virtual learning will create a “slide.”

If possible, Ivey challenged school districts to phase back into in-person classroom participation.

“Many of our students and families rely on school for more than classroom activities,” said the governor. “School is a safe place, where many of our children get their healthiest meal of the day. And where they are loved and encouraged as well as taught. As a former schoolteacher myself and the president of the state school board, I am telling you we need to do everything we can to get our kids back in the classroom as soon as possible.”

We reached out to the schools who opted for remote learning to kick off the school year. A spokesman for the Huntsville City Schools said:

“Huntsville City Schools is aware of Gov. Kay Ivey’s comments from earlier today regarding in-person instruction. Many educators agree that in-person instruction is ideal for our students, but, as state education leaders have acknowledged, there are challenges that larger districts and communities are facing. The Huntsville-Madison County area is certainly one of those facing COVID-19 related challenges. When our Superintendent, Ms. Finley, made her announcement about the remote start of school, she stated that she thought it was the best way to support our community’s fight against the spread of COVID-19. By helping our community reduce the number of cases, we are helping push towards a safe situation to bring our staff and students back for in-person instruction.”

A spokesperson for Madison County Schools said the district had nothing else to add to the governor’s announcement.

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