Parents in the United States are anxious for their children to start school, but they are worried that they may get severely sick if they contract COVID-19. In the wake of an increase in pediatric cases, a large majority of people favor mandating masks and instructor vaccines.
According to a media survey, parents are less optimistic about online learning than they had been last school year, indicating a decline in their confidence about distance learning.
Kids Covid: Parents Favor Mask Requirements
Because of COVID-19 outbreaks, more than 1,000 institutions, many of which had just recently reopened, have suspended in-person instruction and returned to the internet. Hundreds of thousands of children have been quarantined.
Since last May, there has been a 15-percentage-point decrease in the number of parents who believe their district adequately prepared their children for remote teaching. Concerns are particularly strong among Black parents, who report that their children were very well for distant learning (37 percent of whom believe their children were well-prepared).
In recent years, parental assurance that their children “would ultimately be able to recover any lost ground” has dwindled significantly. More than half of parents believe that their children have fallen behind because of online schooling.
These emotions may contribute to understanding why the majority of Americans support the return of in-person learning. Parents of students favor the reintroduction of full-time teaching in schools in seven out of ten instances. Support is greatest among white and Asian parents, while it is lowest among Hispanic and Black parents, who belong to groups that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19’s implementation.
The survey was conducted online between August 30 and September 1 among about 2,000 people in the United States. Parents of schoolchildren account for about one-fifth of the population. The survey had a credibility interval similar to an error margin of plus or minus 2.5 percent growth, which was considered reliable.
Because her kid, who is seven years old and needs glasses, and because he “wasn’t enthusiastic about masks,” Sivya Leventhal, a 39-year-old mother of two from the Dallas area, kept her son at home all of last year. However, the second-grader was “desperate” to get back into the classroom and is currently enrolled there. He has grown used to donning a mask and knows that it is necessary for his own and others’ safety.
At least until recently, masking was voluntary at his school this year: Texas is one of and over half a dozen states that have abolished school mask mandates. Despite ongoing lawsuits across the state contesting the constitutionality of the ban, the Leventhal school system imposed a temporary mask requirement in late August.
Prior to the implementation of the modification, Leventhal claims, the number of reported instances at the school increased dramatically; by the final week of August, over 800 cases had been recorded, according to statistics from her district. “When you look at it percentage-wise, it isn’t that high,” Leventhal adds, adding that the district has more than 50,000 pupils. “However, it is much greater than it should be.”