ARIZONA NEWS

Hoffman: Ducey lifting mask mandate in Arizona schools will cause tension

Apr 21, 2021, 4:15 AM
Arizona Department of Education Superintendent Kathy Hoffman speaks the latest Arizona coronavirus ...

Arizona Department of Education Superintendent Kathy Hoffman speaks the latest Arizona coronavirus update during a news conference Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

(AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s schools chief said Tuesday that Gov. Doug Ducey’s order rescinding the requirement of masks in schools will cause tension between parents and staff.

“It causes a lot of tension between parents and teachers and principals when we really need to be working together to have our school environment feel safe and welcoming for all students,”  Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad, adding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends masks in schools.

The rescinded order still allows K-12 school districts and charter schools the right to institute and enforce masks and other policies to stop the spread of COVID-19. Many schools around the Valley posted Monday evening that masks would still be required, with some saying further guidance would be provided after a board meeting while others announced masks would be enforced through the end of the school year.

“(School districts) are facing some pushback from parents who are saying even though you sent this letter saying that you’re keeping the mask mandate, my child will not be wearing a mask,” Hoffman said. “I already know there is going to be contentious conversations not only in the classroom but at school board meetings because of this policy.”

Hoffman said Ducey’s office didn’t consult with her on the decision, adding a member of the governor’s team reached out mere minutes before the announcement was posted on Twitter.

“That’s not consulting us or asking what our thoughts are on this decision, it is to notify us that hey, just to give you a heads up, that we’re about to drop this bomb on our public education system,” Hoffman said.

She questioned why Ducey isn’t listening to anyone in the education field and why superintendents or charter leaders were not instead asked what was needed to finish the school year strong.

“We only have about one month remaining of the school year and what we want more than anything is a strong finish to the school year, we want to have stability and we are focusing on the wrong things right now,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman added lifting the order is a complete distraction from the real issues at hand and said she has not heard from Ducey or Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ since the decision was made to lift the mandate Monday.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Man dies making left turn after driver runs red light in Phoenix

A man was killed in Phoenix on Friday after a driver ran a red light, striking the victim's car in an intersection, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs creates panel to study teacher retention problem

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order Thursday aimed at figuring out ways to keep teachers in classrooms.
1 day ago
Protesters march Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn., over the death of Tyre Nichols, who di...
Associated Press

6th officer fired after beating death of Tyre Nichols

A sixth Memphis officer was fired Friday after an internal police investigation showed he violated multiple department policies in the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols.
1 day ago
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Denver Court throws out Wyoming doctor’s pill convictions

A federal appeals court on Friday threw out the convictions of a doctor accused of overprescribing powerful pain medication and ordered a new trial for him.
1 day ago
(Photo illustration by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

$700M Powerball prize latest in string of giant jackpots

There is another giant lottery jackpot up for grabs Saturday night, the latest in a string of big prizes enticing players to plunk down $2.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Missing Arizona girl rescued from basement of sex offender in Utah

A missing Arizona girl was rescued from the basement of a Utah sex offender earlier this week, authorities said Friday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Hoffman: Ducey lifting mask mandate in Arizona schools will cause tension