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Coronavirus

The Start of a New School Year Is Complicated by Outbreaks and Mask Debates

The summer surge of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus made for a disruptive start of the school year in many parts of the country Monday as hundreds of thousands of children returned to classrooms and parents, administrators and governors clashed over whether masks should be required.

Confusion reigned in several Texas school districts after the state Supreme Court stopped mask mandates in two of the state’s largest districts, the day before the first day of school in Dallas. An Arizona judge upheld, at least temporarily, a mask mandate in a Phoenix district despite a new state law prohibiting such restrictions. One Colorado county posted sheriff’s deputies in schools on the first day of classes as a precaution after parents protested a last-minute mask mandate.

Public school authorities are committed to making up lost ground after frequent disruptions, including on- and-off remote learning, in the pandemic’s first year left millions of children behind in their studies, especially those of communities of color. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks in schools for students, staff and teachers.

Read the source article at Associated Press News

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