As we get closer to the start of school, The American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting students and staff wear masks in the classroom. However, the state legislature has passed a law preventing districts from requiring face coverings. The AAP said schools may lack the resources to monitor vaccine status or enforce mask policies based on those who are vaccinated.
In just a few weeks students will be busting out their backpacks but many still are not sure what the fall semester will look like.
"It's like - what's going to happen? You know, I do know that the delta virus is really, really very transferable very quickly. Which causes me concern as their Nana,” said Robin Dalrymple.
Dalrymple is a retired schoolteacher and full-time grandma. Her oldest grandchild was in virtual learning all last year, but this year she will likely be back in the building.
"They need that social skill and that social training," said Dalrymple.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending teachers and kids two or older wear a mask indoors during school. The new state law signed by Governor Kevin in May prohibits school districts from requiring masks and leaves it up to parents. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is asking parents to use their best judgment.
"Instead, we are encouraging all of our schools to still make those masks available for those who want that,” said Supt. Hofmeister.
Hofmeister believes it's the responsibility of each Oklahoman to look after those who aren't eligible to receive the vaccine.
"We have to think about others and Oklahomans are always looking for ways to support education. And the most powerful way to do that right now is to get that vaccine as soon as it's offered,” said Supt. Hofmeister.
Dalrymple's grandchildren are not vaccinated because they're all under the age of 12, so she's hoping they'll wear a mask.
“Outside when they're recessing, you know, take them off. But inside I would rather see them covered," said Dalrymple.
The AAP is advocating for in-person learning saying virtual school highlighted inequities in education, was detrimental to academic success and exacerbated the mental health crisis.