PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - As Governor Kate Brown announced masks will be required in all K-12 schools this fall, teachers are weighing in on the decision.
Portland Association of Teachers President Elizabeth Thiel says the union supports the governor's mandate.
The union represents all licensed educators in Portland Public Schools which she says is about 4000 people.
She says this decision makes sense based on what we're seeing with the spread of the virus and she's glad it will be a statewide mandate.
A lot has been in flux for schools over the last year during the pandemic.
Thiel says educators haven't been able to see what's coming and there may be anxiety about the school year ahead.
"Right now the plan is to be fulltime in-person and that's what we all want to do," Thiel said. "And in order for that to work we have to stop the spread of COVID and so everything that we can do, that includes masking, it also means making sure we have good ventilation in all of our schools and classrooms. It means we need to have room for physical distancing."
Some parents have strong feelings against this decision saying kids are at least risk for contracting the virus and shouldn't be singled out with this kind of mandate.