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MPS students and MCTS riders react to reinstated mask mandate after one-day respite

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Posted at 3:16 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 18:25:49-04

MILWAUKEE — Just one day after mask-wearing was made optional in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and on Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) buses, the school district and transit system announced they'll mandate masks once again.

The timing has some people questioning how well-thought out these decisions are.

We all know by now, there is a deep divide over face masks, especially when it comes to kids in school, and travel. As some drop mask rules, others are sticking with the practice since it has already been in place for more than two years.

Face masks are back to being mandatory at MPS on Wednesday after a one-day respite Tuesday. Students we spoke with say the 24-hour difference raised questions and frustrations.

“I think they could have handled it better,” said Jamani Parker, a senior at Rufus King High School. “They should have thought about it more and planned better because the one-day switch caused a lot of confusion in the schools. When we walked into school this morning, teachers and administrators were like, ‘You must wear a mask again.’ We were all like, ‘What? Masks went away for one day?’ That is silly.”

“It seemed random and unnecessary to begin with to drop the mask mandate this far into the year,” said Maeve Haley, another senior at Rufus King High School. “We only have a couple months of school left. I will keep wearing one. I like it.”

Many people are so used to wearing masks by now, it has become their preference.

“From what I saw yesterday, most students chose not to take their masks off, even though we could,” Parker said. “At this point, we all just want to be on the safe side. Rufus King is a big school. There are a lot of us. Things could spread quickly.”

It seems most people who rely on public transportation feel the same. MCTS also reinstated its mask mandate Wednesday after lifting it for one day.

“I feel like we should still have masks because it is a safety caution for me,” said Shannon Tamez.

“I love the mask mandate,” said Brook Johnson. "I rely on the bus to get around, and I notice there are a lot of people on the bus who cough and sound sick. It is an extra layer of protection. We need it.”

WATCH: MPS provides update on mask policy

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