These Are The Parents Most Likely To Oppose School Mask Mandates, Poll Finds

A new Axios/Momentive poll found that 59% of parents support school-mask mandates overall. However, certain groups are more likely to oppose school mask mandates based on their income level, race, and partisan affiliation.

On the first day at Baldwin Park Elementary School, students wearing masks arrived with their parents. SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Key Facts

A poll of 10,168 parents was conducted between August 16-25. 56% of Republican parents were opposed to school mask mandates, compared with 24% of Independents, 4% of Democrats, and 24% of Independents. The opposition to school mask mandates is also more common among white parents. 42% opposed, compared to 6% of Black parents and 15% of Hispanics. As their income increases, parents' opposition to mask mandates rises: Only 19% of parents with less than $50,000 per annum oppose the requirements. This compares to 36% of those who earn between $50,000-$99,999, and 40% for those who make more than $100,000 annually. The school mask mandates are less popular among men than those for women. 36% of fathers oppose them, while 24% of mothers do. Older parents are less likely to be against the mandates than younger parents. Only 21% of parents 65 years and older are against the mask requirements, compared to 28% and 31% for those aged 18-34 and 35-64. The most significant difference in demographic groups is the parents education level. 29% of parents who have only a high school education or have attended some college opposed mandates, while 31% of parents with a college degree or higher supported them.

Surprising Fact

The poll also gave breakdowns of parents in 12 states. It found that Iowa (44%), Ohio (43%), Minnesota (38%), and Colorado (37% had the highest opposition to school mask mandates. Except for Iowa, which bans school-mask mandates, the states with the most controversy over school masks were mostly those that had lower opposition. Axios reports that only 25% of Florida's parents opposed school mask mandate bans. 26% in Texas, 27% Arkansas, 32% Tennessee parents supported them. Republicans in other states have been less likely to oppose them than parents from Texas and Florida. However, the polling was limited to a small sample of parents in each state and did not include all states, so these findings could be biased.

Big Number

61% This is the proportion of parents who believe that their school district requires students to wear masks. States with the highest proportion of mask-mandated areas are Illinois (73%), North Carolina (63%), and Iowa (10%).

Important Background

According to Axios's recent poll, a majority support school mask mandates. However, parents show lower support than adults overall. The controversy surrounding school mask mandates has been particularly intense as the new school year began amid the delta variant surge. This makes children ineligible to receive vaccinations especially vulnerable. Many clashes and threats of violence have been reported at school board meetings due to mask mandates. Ten states have passed policies prohibiting school districts from imposing such mandates. However, not all are currently in force. These state policies have been the subject of a lot of controversy. There have been many lawsuits, some of which were successful. School districts have also required masks in violation state laws. Some school districts in Illinois have made masks mandatory in schools and declared them optional, despite the state mandate.

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Momentive|Axios Poll: Masks In Schools (SurveyMonkey)

Poll: The fight for school mask mandate goes beyond the battleground states (Axios).

The Majority of Americans But Fewer Parents Support School Mask Mandates and Vaccine Requirements. Poll finds (Forbes).

Florida residents are most supportive of school mask mandates. However, more districts oppose state ban (Forbes).

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