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Davenport parents sound off on reinstated mask mandate in school district

Davenport students and staff, as of Monday, are required to wear face masks while in district schools.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Students and staff in the Davenport Community School District are now required to wear face masks. The mandate went into effect Monday, Sept. 20 following the school boards decision to reinstate it the week before.

It comes after a federal judge put a temporary restraining order on Gov. Kim Reynolds' law that banned mask mandates in schools. As of Monday, the district's website hasn't mentioned punishments for students who refuse to wear a mask while in school. 

A statement on the website said students who do not wear a mask on the bus risk the chance of losing privileges to ride them.

Parents on both sides of the issue have sounded off on the mandate. For Toby Overby, it’s upsetting to see his first grader, James, back in a mask while he’s at school. He said his son simply doesn’t like wearing the mask at such a young age.

“I think it should be up to us as parents if they wear it or not," Overby said. "I believe they don’t work.”

Overby isn’t the only parent to feel this way. Several parents waiting in line to pick their students up at Walcott Elementary and Junior High echoed his concerns.

Sara Stebens said her kids understand they have to follow the rules that are laid out, but she also wishes there was a choice for each family to make. 

“Honestly we don’t love it," Stebens said. "We like the choice. My kids don’t love it, but since it is in place, my kids know they have to follow the rules. They have to wear the mask, and they’ll do it.”

For families like the Leasmans, it’s nothing new. Randy Leasman said his daughter Ellita has been wearing a mask in school all year. 

“I have no problem with it at all," Leasman said. "Our family, we’re all for it.”