Philadelphia public schools will require students to wear masks for 10 days after the holiday break, marking the latest Democratic-run city to push for lockdown-era mandates.
"This is a proactive measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19," school district spokeswoman Christina Clark said, adding that schools will "implement" any actions to "protect the health and well-being" of students.
Forcing the masking of children is "supporting healthy environments," Clark added.
News of the mask mandate comes as further evidence emerges of COVID restrictions' disastrous impact on education. Only 16.2 percent of third- to eighth-graders in Philadelphia scored proficient or better in math—compared with 21.6 percent before government lockdowns, the Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported. The district’s goal in late 2020 was to hit a 28.7 percent proficiency rate, meaning it missed the mark by 12.5 points.
Philadelphia students aren’t alone. Los Angeles and Oakland are considering reimposing mask mandates, and Sacramento may also reimpose masks in schools.
Despite widespread parental backlash, Democrats continued to defend school lockdowns into the 2022 election cycle. Pennsylvania Democratic senator-elect John Fetterman called past school lockdowns an "absolute necessity." Democratic governor-elect Josh Shapiro threatened to sue the Trump administration if the state was forced to reopen schools in 2020.
Published under: COVID-19 , Mask Mandate