MALDEN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – In a special meeting held Tuesday morning, The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education granted Education Commissioner Jeff Riley full permission to authorize a mask mandate across the state of Massachusetts for grades K-12.
The vote passed 9 to 1 with one member saying that a mask mandate was not “a hill to die on.”
However, Commissioner Riley told his board members that he plans to implement a mask mandate as early as next week.
Riley said this mandate should go into place given the number of people who have yet to be vaccinated as well as the ongoing spread of the Delta Variant of Covid-19.
The mandate is most likely expected to stay in effect until at least early October.
While he would prefer to lift the mandate by October 1, Riley said students may have to routinely mask up depending on the number of Covid cases present throughout the school year.
People were protesting both sides of the mask mandate in and around the board’s building since 9:00 in the morning. The protests were said to be relatively peaceful.
WBZ’s Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) has more: