As the debate around mask policies for children heading back to school continues to heat up, and a strong desire from many parents to get kids back to in-person learning full time, the question of whether children should wear masks at school is becoming more complicated than ever.

ValuePenguin surveyed more than 1,000 parents with children under 18 to learn more about where parents stood on masks and vaccinations when it comes to heading back to school.

Key findings:

– 74% of parents with kids younger than 18 support masks for students who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccination. Parents in the Northeast are most supportive (85%), while those in the South are least supportive (67%).
– 44% of parents whose children will attend school in person at least part of the time plan to require their unvaccinated kids to wear masks, and a further 31% will ask their vaccinated kids to mask up. However, 25% won’t require their children to wear masks at school regardless of their vaccination status.
– As the delta variant surges, 44% of parents say their kids won’t go to in-person school full time this fall. That percentage breaks down to 27% opting for a hybrid schedule and 11% for full-time virtual school, as well as 6% who aren’t sure what to do yet.
– On the other hand, 12% of parents changed their child’s school during the pandemic so they could learn in person. Additionally, 32% of parents whose children will attend school in person this fall say their child’s learning suffered at home.
– Though COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for children 12 and older, 31% of parents aren’t comfortable allowing their age-eligible children to get the vaccine. That percentage jumps to 39% among mothers, compared with 21% among fathers.

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