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SAFETY: Consequences for Students Who Refuse to Wear a Mask

SAFETY: Consequences for Students Who Refuse to Wear a Mask


Last year, when a student refused to wear a mask, the school could assign that student to remote learning. This year, since there is no longer a remote option for healthy students, we needed to bargain over the consequences of noncompliance.

If a student refuses to wear a mask, here is how staff should respond:

  1. The school must document the incident in OORS
  2. Teacher speaks with student
  3. Student is sent to school counselor
  4. Student is sent to the administration
  5. Parent is called to pick up the student
If the student continues to refuse to wear a mask at school, the student will receive up to a five-day principal suspension. Continued noncompliance or a second infraction will result in a 10-day superintendent suspension. During these suspensions, the student will receive remote instruction.

If a student continues to refuse to wear a mask, the superintendent suspension will be extended and a school may apply to exclude the student from school.

Students with significant documented disabilities will be given supports to help with mask wearing and may be allowed a mask break in a well-ventilated area that allows for six feet of distancing.

The refusal to wear a mask is a serious violation of the student discipline code that puts the school community at risk. If your school is not following this protocol, reach out to your school’s COVID-19 building response team and your chapter leader or call the UFT safety hotline at 212-331-6317.

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