BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The last days of summer break are quickly approaching and the conversation is beginning on what school will look like in the fall.
“It was just really hard over zoom, but in other ways, it was easier. But I’ll be really happy to get back in school in person,” said nine-year-old Emmett Rife of Baltimore City. “I also feel like going back to school will be fun because you get to see your friends in person.”READ MORE: At Baltimore School, U.S. Education Secretary Urges People Put Aside ‘Mask Fatigue’ and ‘Politics’ and Bring Students Back To Classrooms
WJZ asked Chelsea Tighe and her two sons if they would have a problem with wearing masking in schools.
“I think that’s great,” said Tighe. “Our kids are very used to being masked, they’ve been playing outside masked up with friends, all winter, they just took their masks off recently outside.”
“When we started first playing with our friends every day, when we played with them we had to wear masks for about nine months, so I’m used to it,” said her seven-year-old son Cassius Rife.
Public schools in Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard Counties and Baltimore City will require masks for everyone this fall whether people are vaccinated or not.
Masks are currently optional inside school buildings in Carroll and Harford Counties but officials continue to monitor metrics.
Students wearing face coverings in schools has become a national hot button issue. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed an executive that prevents school districts from forcing students to mask up.
Experts at Johns Hopkins said the varying rules from county to county only add to the confusion.
“There’s continually this question of where parents go for solid information that they can trust. We are a year and a half into this pandemic and we still have questions about where parents can go to get reliable information,” said Annette Anderson, Deputy Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools.
The Biden administration wants students to return to in-person learning this fall. The US Education Secretary visited Baltimore this week to reinforce that goal.
“While we continue to get more students and adults vaccinated, please wear your masks indoors. We know that masking and other prevention strategies work so let’s use them,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.