Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Labor and Industry
Safety and Health Codes Board
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2/19/22  4:05 pm
Commenter: Heather

Please give teachers/staff the option to opt out of masking

Now that a law has been passed for parents to opt their students out of masking, it is time to let the students/staff opt out of masking as well.

Particularly for teachers and instructional assistants, wearing a mask makes it difficult to communicate with students. Non-verbal communication/facial expressions are also important and removing the masks would help in this regard.

I know when we go into a restaurant or other business where staff is wearing masks, we often times have a difficult time hearing or understanding what they are saying. I've seen teachers comment that this is also common in the classroom.

Teachers and staff members likely take off their mask as soon as the exit the workplace and they travel to other places where they may or may not be required to mask, including the grocery store, restaurants, other stores, gyms and bars among other places. Why should they be required to mask at work when they are not required to mask at other locations where they come into contact with the general public?

It is for these reasons that I believe that teachers and staff should also have the opportunity to opt out of forced masking. 

CommentID: 119812