Vast Majority of Americans Support School Mask Mandates Despite Protests

The vast majority of Americans support mask mandates for schools, according to a poll released as protests about face coverings continue.

The Quinnipiac University survey, conducted between September 10 and September 13, found that almost twice as many people back school mandates as oppose them.

Some 63 percent said they supported the requirements for students, teachers and staff to wear face coverings, compared with 34 percent who opposed them. Among Republicans, 30 percent backed mask mandates and 68 percent opposed them.

Almost all Democrats (94 percent) supported the measures while only 3 percent opposed them.

Nearly three-quarters of women (71 percent) were in favor of the requirements, while 26 percent opposed them. More men opposed mandates, at 43 percent, but the majority of men (54 percent) supported them.

Meanwhile, among survey respondents who had children under the age of 18, 62 percent supported school mandates while 38 percent opposed them.

As of September 14, five states have imposed bans on universal masking in schools. Another four states have mandated bans that have been blocked, suspended or are not being enforced, according to Education Week.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Miami declined to block a ban on mask mandates for pupils, which was imposed by Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The ruling is the latest chapter in an increasingly bitter legal battle in the Sunshine State.

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) support universal masking in schools but those opposing the measure are making themselves heard.

Last week, anti-mask demonstrators in Washington state gathered outside Skyview High School a week after protests near the school district's grounds led to lockdowns of three campuses.

The Quinnipiac poll, which was released on Wednesday, asked questions on a number of topics including extreme weather, COVID vaccines and abortion.

It surveyed 1,210 U.S. adults across the country and had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

The poll also found that the majority of Americans (68 percent) said the recent rise in COVID deaths was preventable. Quinnipiac polling analyst Tim Malloy said this showed there remained a "deep, lingering concern over the still menacing virus."

The survey also reported that a slight majority (51 percent to 48 percent) disapproved of President Joe Biden's plan to mandate vaccines or weekly COVID tests for staff at private businesses that have more than 100 workers.

Almost half of respondents (48 percent) said the president's new COVID plan went too far, with 39 percent describing it as about right and 10 percent saying it did not go far enough.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

mask mandate protest
Families protest mask mandates before the Hillsborough County Schools Board meeting held at the district office on July 27 in Tampa, Florida. A poll by Quinnipiac shows most Americans support the mandates. Octavio Jones/Getty