A two-third majority of Donegal Daily readers say they do not think that children should wear face masks in schools.
Our recent poll found that just 34% of readers say children should be made to wear face coverings when schools reopen.
Our poll on the contentious topic gathered over 9,000 votes and hundreds of comments from readers in the past two days.
The Department of Education has today announced that students at post primary level, apart from specific exemptions, will be required to wear face coverings when a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.
Meanwhile, a report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control today acknowledged the challenges of using face masks in the school setting as children will have a lower tolerance and/or may not be able to use the mask properly.
Comments on Donegal Daily’s poll put forward arguments for and against masks in the classroom.
Those on the ‘No’ side said:
“My son wears a mask around shops and on public transport (small period of time) i dont think any child would cope well wearing them all day… so nervous about them going back full time at all”
“It’s a very simple NO answer for all school levels. As someone who has to wear them for 12 hours a day there is no way in hell I would send my kid to school with a face mask for 5-6 hours a day.”
“Most definitely no masks for children, adults have trouble breathing wearing a mask.”
Others on the ‘Yes’ side said older students should wear them:
“Yes in secondary they should be compulsory we have to play our part in these terrible times”
“In post primary when moving around in public areas but not during class”
“Primary school no, Secondary school yes to mask or face shield… i think its 2 different discussions based on different age groupings, not a simple yes or no to all”
Some parents highlighted that their children have special needs and will not be able to wear a covering:
“All my children are Autistic and won’t wear masks If this the case my children would be safer at home and I will home school them if necessary “
“Not an easy answer if your kid has sensory issues.”
Others questioned if schools should reopen at all if safety is an issue:
“Keep schools closed if there’s any doubt about the children’s safety.”
“If it’s too dangerous for pubs to open then it’s definitely too dangerous to let schools reopen.! very bug/virus that’s ever come into my home has come into it with my kids from school.!”
“If they have to wear a mask then there’s a risk… So if there’s a risk leave the school closed.”