HARTFORD, Conn. — With U.S. health officials recommending that children mask up in school this fall, parents and policy makers across the nation have been plunged anew into a debate over whether face coverings should be optional or a mandate.
The delta variant of the coronavirus now threatens to upend normal instruction for a third consecutive school year. Some states have indicated they will probably heed the federal government’s guidance and require masks. Others will leave the decision up to parents.
The controversy is unfolding at a time when many Americans are at their wits’ end with pandemic restrictions and others fear their children will be put at risk by those who don’t take the virus seriously enough. In a handful of Republican-led states, lawmakers made it illegal…
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