New Jersey Legislature to decide future of masks in schools Monday
The Legislature in Trenton is set to decide if Gov. Phil Murphy will retain the power to keep mask mandates in place.
Under Gov. Phil Murphy's order, students and teachers must wear a mask in school, but they'll find out this week whether that can happen.
There are districts, such as Point Pleasant, Toms River and Central Regional, that have pushed to end the mask mandate for students.
Before the start of the school year, some districts even wrote letters asking Gov. Murphy to end masking in schools.
If the mandate goes away, it'll be up to individual school districts to determine if students must mask-up in class.
This past week, some schools were forced to go remote not only because of COVID cases among students, but also because too many cases among teachers made staffing difficult.
The New Jersey State legislature may put an end to Gov. Murphy's executive powers concerning the pandemic, which could end the mandate.
But with the recent surge in cases due to the Omicron variant, the teacher's union, the New Jersey Education Association, has come out against taking masks off, calling such a move "educational malpractice."
The union sent out a statement saying:
"We are appalled at the idea that any member of the New Jersey Legislature would fail to support an extension of the mask mandate in our public schools that has helped protect students and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."