Ducey’s mask move puts school officials in the driver’s seat. And it’s often a hot seat

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By Mary Jo Pitzl | Arizona Republic

The school year may be nearly over, but the debate over masks is far from resolved.

Gov. Doug Ducey’s order last month rescinding the mask mandate for schools inflamed and confused the issue: Many parents incorrectly interpreted it as a “masks off” directive.

But Ducey’s action merely tossed the decision to school administrators, putting them in the driver’s seat on mask policy. For many, it has been a hot seat.

“It’s been pretty wild,” said Deb Dillon, president of the Prescott Unified School District board.

Prescott opted to make mask usage voluntary last month, but reversed itself May 4 after six kids tested positive for COVID-19 and 180 classmates were sent home to quarantine.

Protesters stop meetings

The Prescott meeting was orderly, in contrast to earlier events in southern Arizona, where anti-mask protesters crowded into lobbies outside the board meetings of the Vail and Tanque Verde districts, demanding to speak. Both meetings were canceled.

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