Optional mask policies issued by some LI districts cause confusion after state mandate

On Friday, the state Department of Health issued the official mandate, but that was after several districts had already announced mask-optional policies - confusing and frustrating parents.

News 12 Staff

Aug 30, 2021, 7:42 PM

Updated 999 days ago

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Several school districts across the Island are starting the new school year this week under a universal mask mandate.
On Friday, the state Department of Health issued the official mandate, but that was after several districts had already announced mask-optional policies - confusing and frustrating parents.
Lindenhurst was one of them but now says it will follow the state mandate.
Some agree that schools should implement the mask mandate as a precaution.
"I think they should be wearing masks again in school. Just to play it safe. Why take chances? Especially with young children," says Fran Assande, whose 9-year-old grandson agrees.
"I'm kind of happy about it because I don't want to get sick," says fourth grader Matthew Assande.
Other districts, like Massapequa, have not announced whether they will be sticking to their own optional policies or not.
The district superintendent issued this statement Monday which reads, "The Board of Education will be meeting to discuss the new directive and has no comment at this time."
"My kids they don't want to mask for sure," said Sabina Nikocevic, of Massapequa "All summer long, they were safe. Everybody's OK, thank God. So, I think they're OK with no mask."
In the meantime, New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Dr. Lester Young hopes the mask mandate doesn't create too much tension between parents and educators.
"I think the problem that we have right now is that, because of the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and the speed at which all of this is happening, it's created this very uncertain, unclear environment. The other problem is we had multiple agencies at multiple levels providing information, and I think that's part of the problem," Young said.
Farmingdale had also announced a mask optional policy. News 12 Long Island reached out to the district but has not yet heard back.


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