Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson on Friday ended his silence about the mask mandate on all students and staff in Anchorage Public Schools.
Although his authority doesn’t allow him to override Superintendent Deena Bishop and the Anchorage School Board, Bronson came out unequivocally against the back-to-school mask policy announced by Bishop last Saturday.
On his official Facebook page, he urged the school district to reconsider its policy:
“My position has been, and will continue to be, very clear on the issue of COVID mandates: I am opposed to mandates. I am opposed to mandates masking our residents and our children. I am opposed to mandates shutting down our businesses. I am opposed to mandating vaccinations. Anchorage residents should be free to make their own decisions about their healthcare, about their families, and about their children’s education.
“Therefore, I strongly oppose the Anchorage School District’s back to school mask mandate and strongly encourage them to immediately reconsider. Masking choice has been successful in the Anchorage School District throughout the summer school session and can be successful now. Moreover, student masking remains optional in various other school districts across Alaska. This should be about parental and student choice, not top down government mandates,” Bronson’s statement said.
Teachers in the Anchorage School District begin working on Aug. 12, and classes begin on Aug. 17, with pre/kindergarten classes beginning Aug. 24.
At this stage, all will be forced to mask in schools, including charter schools, on buses and in other school district facilities. The rule applies to those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 as well as those who have not. Kenai and Mat-Su have chosen to make masks optional.
The mask is believed by the Anchorage superintendent and school board to lessen the transmission of the Covid-19 virus, which is spreading once again among those unvaccinated individuals around the country, as well as occasionally infecting those who have been vaccinated.
Must Read Alaska has learned that the projected enrollment for Anchorage Public Schools has dropped by thousands, although final enrollment numbers won’t be known until October.