Many parents believe that mandatory mask policies at school have harmed their kids, a new poll has found.

Forty percent of parents “believe that mask-wearing harmed their children’s overall scholastic experience,” the new poll from Politico-Harvard discovered. Only 11% say that it helped their schooling, while “nearly half of parents said masks made no difference.”

Additionally, 46% of parents said they believe that “mask-wearing hurt their child’s social learning and interactions,” while another 39% said that mandatory masking “affected their child’s mental and emotional health.”

The poll was conducted from March 1 to March 7 and surveyed 478 parents whose children attend in-person school.

Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis, emeritus, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said, “Even if I’m in a Democratic state or district, I’d pay attention because there are a substantial number of independent parents who think the policy is hurting their children.”

The poll found that 52% of parents who are registered as independent voters said masks were unnecessary to keep kids safe.

Over the past few months, as reported cases of COVID-19 have plummeted nationwide, various school districts have lifted mandatory masking policies.

However, other more liberal school districts have kept mandatory masking for students in place.

In February, Washington, D.C., ended its indoor mask mandate for businesses, bars, strip clubs, and restaurants. However, the city kept in place its indoor mask mandate for children in schools. Later, the city lifted the mandate, but left the question up to schools.

Additionally, New York City has lifted its mask mandate for K-12 students, but kept it in place for children age four and under in schools, “citing the unavailability of vaccines for that age group.” A group of parents have filed a lawsuit against that policy.

One New York City parent said, “My 4-year-old daughter’s face remains covered, not seeing the smiles of her friends or teachers. Continuing to mask 2 to 4-year-olds is unnecessary, and worse, does real harm to their educational and social growth.”

It’s widely known that the chances of a child under age five dying from an infection of COVID-19 is practically zero.

Focus on the Family President Jim Daly recently wrote that when it comes to the mandatory masking for young students, “enough is enough.”

“Masks are supposed to help – but for children they actually do more harm than good,” Daly wrote.

“Children are at the lowest risk of COVID. Even if they contract it, they tend to get over it very quickly. Statistically speaking, and especially with regards to otherwise healthy children, they pretty much have a zero percent chance of dying from it.”

“Taking off the mask represents both a symbolic and scientific step in the right direction. It’s time to reclaim what has been wrestled from us. It’s between God and parents – not government – regarding how we are to raise and manage the health of our children.”

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