PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's decision to let cities and towns determine their own face mask polices should have a big impact on school districts across the state.

If individuals are required to wear masks in public places, school will likely follow those guidelines, according to state educators. 

Tempe mom Kathy Nicolson has two daughters in the Kyrene School District, which has already announced this week that all students and staff will be required to wear masks. "I think masks are an important layer - considering social distancing will be really difficult," said Nicolson. "Having these masks I think is a key layer of protection for both teachers and the students."

COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in Arizona this month and Nicolson is one of many parents who believe that having kids wear masks when they go back to class is the best way to help stop the spread.

But not everyone is in favor of having kids wear masks, especially younger students in elementary school. Ahwatukee parent Renee Ziegler has a 4th grader and 5th grader at home. She said that mandatory masks in schools will create more problems.

"I can guarantee you, every morning they're not going to want to go to school because of the masks," said Ziegler. "When I wear one, I am very uncomfortable in them. I think they are going to feel the same way."

Joe Thomas is President of the Arizona Education Association. He said that when it comes to the health of students and teachers, everyone needs to do their part. "We want to make certain that we don't end up with more people sick, to where we have end up having to close schools and have greater disruption," said Thomas. "I think we need to have some acceptance where this doesn't seem so controversial. This is about student safety."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 

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