Governor Kristi Noem (R-SD) says it’s definite that kids will be back in the classroom in her state and they won’t be mandated to wear masks.
“For us the kids are going back to school on time,” Noem told Fox and Friends on Wednesday. “They will definitely be in the classroom. We have proven that distance learning is not as effective as being in the classroom. We think that kids have only achieved about 70% of the learning that they could have had they been in school.”
Noem stressed that it’s safer to be in the classroom than at a department store. “You know, this is safer for our kids to be in classrooms for these teachers than being in Walmart, than being in a pharmacy or grocery store. This is going to be an environment that will be something that they can learn, they be can safe and we will take good care of them.”
“As far as masks, I'm not mandating any masks at the state level,” she later added. “It certainly would be challenging for a child to keep a mask on for seven - eight hours a day. Even while I’ve sat with a child that had one on - five or 10 minutes is very difficult for them. And they are constantly touching it, taking it off. Dropping it on the floor. Those all increase rates of infection. And certainly not an environment that is going to help them stay safe. So, I think that every school district is approaching it differently and telling parents if your children want to wear masks they can but we are not going to make them.”