U.S. parents with school-age children are less likely than the general public to support mask and vaccine mandates, according to a Gallup report published Aug. 3.
While 67% of all U.S. adults support mask mandates for unvaccinated teachers / staff and 64% favor this measure for unvaccinated students, among K-12 parents, these measures are only supported by 60% and 57%, respectively.
Similarly, 60% of the U.S. supports vaccine mandates for high school students and 56% for middle school students, compared to 47% and 43% support, respectively, among K-12 parents.
Medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and at the American Academy of Pediatrics have recently urged mask wearing indoors due to the spike in cases due to the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Yet, several state governors have issued orders preventing local schools / districts from mandating masks and several states have passed measures enacting prohibitions on vaccine mandates.
The response of parents to Gallup’s survey is more nuanced when respondents are separated by the vaccine status of the child, with parents of vaccinated 12-18-year-olds being far more likely than parents of unvaccinated students to support both preventative measures.
Parents of vaccinated 12-18-year-old students strongly support both mask and vaccine mandates for currently unvaccinated students and staff. A strong majority supports mask mandates for both staff (86%) and students (84%), while 79% of parents with vaccinated children support vaccine mandates for high school students and 75% for middle school students.
By comparison, 35% of parents of unvaccinated 12-18-year-old students support mask mandates for both teachers and for students, while 20% and 17% support vaccine mandates for high school and for middle school students, respectively.
Among parents of students under 12 (who are not currently eligible to receive vaccines), 61% support mask mandates for teachers / staff and 56% for students, while 45% support vaccine mandates for high school students and 40% for middle school students.
The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2%. The full report is available here.