With many kids now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, the Maryland State Board of Education is discussing whether to end the statewide school mask mandate.
The mandate has been in place since the start of the school year and is set to expire Feb. 25.
The Maryland State Board of Education heard from parents Tuesday, some of whom want their kids to keep masking up.
"Please ensure schools are kept open," said parent Raymond Russell. "Young kids do not mind wearing masks because they know it’s important to protecting others around them."
Another parent, Jenni Kim, said, "Masks have been working. Taking this mandate away means more people will get sick."
But others feel strongly against masks.
"We are telling our children that they must shield their very humanity, refrain from full interaction, and treat the air around them as toxic," said parent Kit Hart.
And grandparent Sharon Nuzback said, "I feel like this is an abuse of power. I have a 5-year-old grandson wearing a mask all day in school, coming home with snot and breathing in his own waste all day."
The board said they weren't making any decisions Tuesday and will consider all the feedback board members heard as they try to decide whether the school mask mandate stays or goes.
If the state board gets rid of the mandate, local school boards still may choose to keep it.
Right now, both Montgomery and Prince George’s county have “substantial transmission” of COVID, according to the CDC.