Charlotte, NC — Much of the United States has had their eyes glued to news of school board meetings, mask mandates, and case counts since the beginning of August. With so many parents hoping for in-person learning and a sense of normalcy, tensions are higher than ever in public schools.
Parents are growing tired of arbitrary rules, inconsistencies, mandatory quarantines, and a lack of true representation. Those in favor of masking children argue masks slow the spread when social distancing is not possible.
However, skeptics of mask success highlight flaws to the studies which support mask effectiveness. Most notably, those studies are observational and lack a control group. In a striking article, Jeffrey H. Anderson of City Journal points out that there have been more than a few randomized control trials that examine how masks influence the spread of disease. However, the results are not well-liked and, therefore, ruled as inconclusive and brushed off as “non-science.”
There’s no doubt that masking has been polarized, politicized, and incentivized. But what some fail to realize is that much of the mask guidance comes from sources other than peer-reviewed studies and medical journals. The largest teachers’ union in the country, the National Education Association, actually strong- armed the CDC into tightening the guidance on masks in schools, threatening to criticize the administration.
The behavior comes as no surprise, as the group was already linked to influencing the CDC on the matter of reopening schools for in-person learning in the early spring. And as contentious as those matters were and continue to be, they’re a mere drop in the bucket when you consider what’s coming.
Pfizer has announced that the company will submit COVID-19 vaccine data for children aged 5-11 by the end of this month with data for children 6-months to 5-years-old soon after. Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect that school board meetings and the push-and-pull between educators and parents will heat rapidly.
Considering the emphasis Joe Biden placed on vaccinating children in his address on Thursday, September 9, should Americans be preparing for sweeping mandates on children and public schools? Based on the influence the teachers’ unions have already flexed, one can only assume what might come next. The question is, how far will Americans allow unions to go when it comes to their children?
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