Massapequa school officials say they won't mandate masks for students this year

Some parents in the Massapequa School District expressing relief after the board came out with new guidelines Wednesday night that masks effective immediately will no longer be required inside the classroom.

"We believe this decision should be made at the local level and we will continue to advocate for that," said Massapequa’s Board of Education president Kerry Wachter.

Board of Ed officials also announced that come the fall, there will be no more school health checks or remote instruction and plexiglass barriers will be removed from the desks.

"My kids will not be in masks but I respect the option of what you choose," said parent Dana Durso.

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But school districts in New York may not have a choice once Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul becomes New York’s Governor next week. She believes masks should be mandated in schools. Also taking that stance - the Jericho School District and the Connetquot Teachers Association that represents more than 600 teachers.

"This shouldn’t be a political or emotional response," said Tony Felicio, president of the Connetquot Teachers Association. "It should be based on science and that’s why we’re taking the position that everyone should be masked."

Mandatory masking is what Dr. Eve Meltzer-Krief with Allied Physicians Group believes needs to be done.

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In the past week, her office has seen dozens of children test positive for COVID-19.

"We think it’s absolutely necessary for children to wear masks indoors during school this year," she said.

In Massapequa, while masks are optional in the classroom they are still required on the buses. School districts including Wantagh, Seaford, and Westbury are expected to meet this week to discuss their plans.