EL PASO, Texas -- School districts were preparing staff Wednesday to start implementing face-covering requirements for students after the El Paso and Socorro independent school districts both approved mask mandates at board meetings on Tuesday night.
The president of the Socorro chapter of the American Federation of Teachers union, Veronica Hernandez, was happy to hear about her district's mask mandate. According to Hernandez, in a recent survey with members of the AFT across the state, 80% were in favor of school mask mandates.
Hernandez does admit that some members in Socorro ISD are against wearing masks in schools for a variety of reasons, but she does not know yet if those members will defy the order.
Ross Moore, president of El Paso's AFT chapter explained to ABC-7 that he is still waiting for more information from EPISD to give guidance to his members.
"It is an extremely fluid situation, but I want all my members to be calm and let's deal with this in a calm and thoughtful manner," Moore said.
Hernandez said in the previous school year the biggest problem teachers faced was making sure younger students kept their masks on. Hernandez indicated it will take the whole staff at a school to make sure kids are following the safety protocols.
Parents are also a key factor in helping teachers. Hernandez said parents should make sure their children go to school with an extra mask with their other school supplies in case they lose one.
“There’s no way that one person can be watching out for that many students," Hernandez explained.
ABC-7 reached out to EPISD and SISD on Wednesday to see how their mandates would be implemented. EPISD officials didn't offer specifics, while SISD did not immediately respond.