OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As more schools in the Oklahoma City metro area institute face mask mandates, mask opt-outs vary from less than one percent of students to more than one in four.
Oklahoma City Public Schools has 156 opt-outs out of about 32,000 students, coming to 0.49 percent of the district’s student population.
Putnam City Public Schools also has a low percentage with just 1.9 percent of 25,000 kids opting out. District spokesperson Kathleen Kennedy says she believes parents now understand the role masks play in keeping kids in school.
“They want their kids in person and they want to do what it takes to keep them there,” she said. “[Wearing masks is] what we do to keep our kids in the classroom. And I recognize that and I think our parents recognize that as well.”
Other districts have slightly more opt outs. Mid-Del Public Schools have 4.6 percent opting out with its staff opt-outs at 10 percent.
Yukon Public Schools have 11.8 percent of students opting out, with Edmond Public Schools having 12.7 percent.
Deer Creek has 28 percent, or 2,031 students, not wearing a mask. The district has had 31.9 percent of staff opt out as well.
State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants acknowledges that some school districts have received pushback for instituting a mask mandate, but he says it’s not a full representation of all the parents. He’s also optimistic that the low numbers will set an example for other districts.
“[It] looks to me [that] the anti-masking crowd could be loud but maybe in the minority in most communities,” he said. “I would hope we can take a look at the numbers here and take a look at what’s going on with the mask requirements, and they make the right decision.”
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