Jackson School Dist. to make masks optional

In Jackson, the R-2 School District will make wearing a mask optional.
In Jackson, the R-2 School District will make wearing a mask optional.(KFVS)
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 3:46 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Mo. (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau County schools are rolling out their fall semester COVID-19 protocols.

This includes mask wearing, social distancing and virtual learning.

In Jackson, the R-2 School District will make wearing a mask optional.

“At Jackson R-2 we are going to do what’s best for our students,” said Superintendent Scott Smith.

He plans to combat COVID-19 within his school system.

“COVID-19, although we were hoping it would be gone by now, it’s not,” he said. “And we know it is, so we have been monitoring the situation throughout the summer.”

The have been working with health officials who, this year, recommend wearing masks.

“We as a school district have been able to have the ability to make decisions on our own throughout the pandemic,” Smith said.

So, they developed a re-entry plan throughout the school district.

“We have determined that we are going to strongly recommend masks to be worn in our district,” he said. “Kindergarten through 12th grade. However, it is not a requirement this year at this time. "

“We also recommend that those that are eligible to go to their medical provider, and work with them to determine if a vaccination may be in the best interest of their family,” he continued.

Because having his children in the school district as well, he believes a vaccination is the family’s choice.

“I actually have three children in the district, at the elementary and junior high levels, and not only am I looking out for the students throughout the district, I’m looking out for my own. And I take the safety of all students very seriously,” he said.

Smith said masks will also be recommended, but optional, at sporting events.

He said students with medical situations will also have the option of virtual learning.

Governor Mike Parson, meanwhile, continued to stress vaccines, not masks.

He took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to stress “mandating masks for vaccinated individuals sends the wrong message to Missourians.”

He said he needed to clarify what he called an “out of context” headline that claimed be believed it would be up to parents and school districts to decide if children should wear masks in school.

The governor called the vaccine the solution to ending the pandemic.

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