State Board of Ed refuses to require masks — again

The Oklahoma State Board of Education missed another opportunity to require masks in schools when they only recommended the practice during a meeting Nov. 12, 2021. 

The board approved a resolution to recommend the practice, despite public health experts saying requiring masks is best for students, staff, and communities. 

OEA is part of the MASK Coalition, a nonpartisan, statewide coalition of experts seeking a single, statewide policy for schools. 

OEA President Alicia Priest responds

“The State Board of Education had another chance Thursday to stand up for children and their fellow Oklahomans who work in our schools with a statewide mask policy. Once again, they passed the buck. The State Board of Education exists to enact state policy — a job they do when it comes to statewide testing, unfunded mandates, and regulations. But now — with case numbers surging to record highs in our state, hard data showing effectiveness of mask policies, and a real opportunity to knowingly save lives — they throw up their hands. These board members sought their positions to be leaders, not to cower during a critical public health crisis. This is a complete lack of leadership with potentially grave consequences for our students, educators, support professionals, and communities.”

Come Back Safely

Oklahoma schools need to be able to come back safely. What will that take? Learn more here.