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Opinion | With inconsistent mask policies, school districts are sending conflicting messages to kids and parents | Richard Ransom

Doctors and scientists say masks are essential, especially at school and especially in areas like the Mid-South where vaccination rates are low.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In Tuesday’s Ransom Note: to mask or not to mask?

That's the question with either no or conflicting answers tonight. Bartlett City Schools was first last week to say no mask. Then DeSoto County Schools announced yesterday they've made the same decision, contrary to recommendations by the CDC and Mississippi's own health department. Today, Shelby County Schools says mask-up, whether you're vaccinated or not.

So, forgive yourself if you have a small case of déjà vu, because it feels like "here we go again." We should not have such conflicting messages, especially when our kids' health is at stake. The numbers are climbing fast with this Delta COVID-19 variant, and kids under 12 aren't even eligible for a vaccine. That's why doctors and scientists say masks are essential, especially at school and especially in areas like the Mid-south where vaccination rates are slow. I feel for parents caught in the middle. They deserve better.

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