Survey sent to Abilene ISD parents & staff shows majority in favor of requiring masks

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The results of a survey sent to parents and staff at the Abilene Independent School District (AISD) show that the majority of both groups were in favor of requiring students to wear masks to school.

Superintendent Dr. David Young on Tuesday said 1,394 staff members answered the survey, and 739 (53%) were in favor of the mask requirement, while 655 (47%) were against.

Regarding the parent vote, AISD’s Lance Fleming reported the following:

The parent number is a bit harder to extrapolate for a few reasons, namely some parents entered an invalid ID number for their child or didn’t enter one at all. Before we did any cleanup to the results – removing responses that didn’t have a valid Student ID number attached – we received 4,680 responses with 3,085 of them (65.9 percent) asking for a mask requirement and 1,595 of them (34.08 percent) asking that we not impose a mask requirement. Once we validated all of the responses, that number rose to 68% in favor of a mandate.

The survey was sent out last week ahead of a special school board meeting that took place Monday, where the board heard public comment on the issue and ultimately voted against requiring masks in schools.

Dr. Young also said they expect closings this school year due to COVID-19, as cases continue to spread through the district. At Monday’s meeting, Dr. Young said at this point in the last school year there were seven active COVID-19 cases in students, and this year there have already been 194.

AISD closed a first grade classroom at Bassetti Elementary on Monday after a teacher and six students in the class tested positive.

Dr. Young says he expects that to happen more frequently.

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