EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) The El Paso Independent School District’s mask mandate went into effect on Thursday, however, some teachers were left with questions after they were told they couldn’t enforce the mandate on students.
“That caught a lot of us teachers by surprise,” one EPISD teacher who chose to be anonymous, said.
An EPISD spokesperson said overall there were no conflicts in the district as masks were required. Campus officials asked everyone walking into school property to wear a covering, but the district said they could not force students to wear one.
The spokesperson said for the most part, people complied with the district’s mandate, but not everyone wore a mask.
“We received an email when we signed in, we would pick up masks to hand out to them if they needed them and that was last night and of course this morning it’s something different,” the teacher said. “They’re following whatever parents are saying, I think the district needs to put their foot down and say we’re following this mandate, whether you like it or not.”
Another EPISD teacher told KTSM at this point, they feel the masks should just be optional.
“There’s an extreme amount of confusion, I don’t know if it’s just our campus but they are pretty much leaving it up to the parents of the kids to wear the mask,” the other teacher said.
The teacher mentioned they tell students they need to wear a mask but if students choose not to, they don’t enforce any disciplinary action.
“I had maybe about 7-10 students not wearing them and I’m not really pushing it to where they have to wear it that’s not my main concern it’s teaching the content I have to teach,” the teacher said.
The teacher said with trying to focus on the schoolwork and getting students up to speed academically, the mask issue is a distraction.
“I think it should be a choice or even the kids at lower levels maybe mandate it there, but not everywhere else,” the teacher said.