NJ schools mask mandate frustrations spill out during hearing

New Jersey

The assembly conducts business at the state house in Trenton, N.J., Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. The prospects of a vote on legislation to eliminate most religious exemptions for vaccines for schoolchildren in New Jersey looked uncertain Monday, according to the bill’s sponsor, as opponents crowded the Statehouse grounds with flags, bullhorns and banners. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

TRENTON, N.J. — Frustrated parents are calling on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to relax mandates for mask wearing in schools across the state.

The testimony came Friday during an Assembly Republican hearing on masks in schools and featured testimony from mothers and at least one school nurse.

They raised concerns that the masks take a social and psychological toll on pupils and could make it particularly hard for younger children to learn since they can’t read teachers’ lips and their peers’ facial expressions.

The hearing lacked testimony from health officials and others who advise and support mask wearing at schools.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the “consistent and correct” use of a mask for students and staff.

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