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Polls Show Majority Support Masks, Vaccines, For Schools — The Minority Is Just Loud

There have been no stories of parents showing up at school board meetings, screaming in the faces of administrators, and threatening to track down public health officials if the school district doesn’t mandate masks. Because of the vocal and even violent response from one segment of the public, it would be easy to get the impression that masks and vaccines are a dealbreaker for a majority of Americans. However, a new poll shows that’s not the case at all.

TAMPA, FL – JULY 27: Families protest any potential mask mandates before the Hillsborough County Schools Board meeting held at the district office on July 27, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended those who are vaccinated should wear masks indoors including students returning to school. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

NORC, or the National Opinion Research Center, just released the results of a poll in which respondents (a probability-based group selected to represent the U.S. population) was questioned about mask mandates for schools, and vaccine mandates for teachers and children eligible to receive them.

The response showed a slim majority, but a majority regardless (greater than the 3.2% margin of error) in support of each of the following:

  • Requiring teachers in K-12 schools to wear masks (59%)
  • Requiring student in K-12 schools to wear masks (58%)
  • Requiring teachers in K-12 schools to be vaccinated (59%)
  • Requiring students over the age of 12 in K-12 schools to be vaccinated (55%)

In fact, these mandates show high or relatively high levels of support from almost every group polled, across racial backgrounds, age groups, and education levels.

So, where does it all fall apart? Respondents who identified themselves as Republicans — only about a third (33%, 31%, 38%, and 34%, respectively, for the above questions) support each of these measures. (Independents support at slightly higher rates: 51%, 49%, 44%, and 40% for the same questions.)

However, for school boards, it’s not necessarily as simple as putting the matter to a vote, when we’ve seen threatening behavior and interference from political figures who misrepresent data and downplay the virus.

The full results of NORC‘s poll can be seen here.



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