ODE encourages schools to talk with families and students who don’t want to wear masks and to avoid punitive measures such as suspensions. If a student won’t wear a mask, schools can offer remote options but cannot teach them in person, new language in the framework says.
School leaders around the state are expecting a significant percentage of students to not wear masks, with some refusing no matter what teachers or administrators say. They have been pressing ODE for how they should respond if they can’t use coercive punishments but must still offer a free education.
To align with the Oregon Health Authority's K-12 face covering rules, the framework also says students aged 5 and older must wear masks but younger students in school settings do not. Students don’t have to wear face coverings while participating in extracurricular sports, including indoors.