EDITORIAL: Schools should make mask wearing optional

Tomorrow night, the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. will hold a school board meeting to review its reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Among the recommendations BCSC will make to the board includes not requiring students to wear masks inside the schools.

While the proposed policy isn’t popular with everyone, it’s the right call.

BCSC has consulted with both the Indiana State Department of Health and Bartholomew County Health Department in reaching its mask-less conclusion. There’s plenty of reason to believe that careful consideration went into the recommendation, as both organizations helped guide BCSC in returning to in-person classes last year.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that vaccinated students and staff above the age of 12 don’t need to wear masks inside schools, and should be at least 3 feet apart while seated.

This policy makes some sense, as those 12 and under can not yet get vaccinated, but local data also suggests that COVID-19 isn’t spreading through our community at a dangerous level; thus not necessitating masks.

In addition, parents can still tell their children to wear masks in school — the practice is still allowed.

If local COVID-19 numbers become dangerous, and there’s evidence that it’s spreading throughout the school system, BCSC can reinstate their mask policies.

In the meantime, there’s no need for the rule.