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East Texas parents share advice on how to talk to kids about wearing a mask in school

Mask mandates are not allowed in public schools, leaving the decision up to parents.

LINDALE, Texas — Schools in East Texas are encouraging but not requiring students to mask up during class. This leaves parents with the important task of talking to their children about what they expect as a family.

CBS19 reached out to many parents in East Texas, some are choosing to send their kids with masks and others are not. 

Andrew Lyle doesn't think he needs to send his daughter to school with a mask, he says his family has not been affected by the virus yet and has hopes that it won't be an issue this year.

"I'm not gonna lie she has not gotten vaccinated or anything like that but I don't see a need for it because she has not been around anyone with covid," Lyle said. 

Karlee Greer has two kids who are going to Lindale schools. Her father died from Covid related complications and she has family members that are immunocompromised so she talks to her children about why she sends them to school with masks.

"Kids are resilient and they're used to it. My son wore a mask last year, and it didn't bother him at all. He would get in the car and forget to take it off. So it's really not an issue for them to be wearing a mask," Greer said. 

She says she worries bullying might become an issue in schools, so she encourages parents to talk to their children about making sure they are respecting their classmate's decisions.

" I know from another mother, in Texas, her son was wearing a mask at school, and he was actually coughed on and ridiculed," Greer said. "They don't know all the stories, and they don't know what some of these children have gone through. They don't know their circumstances at home. So if they're required to wear a mask, because of a parent or someone else at home, they shouldn't be made fun of for that."

Down the street in another Lindale home, wearing a mask when everyone leaves the house is the norm. 

"We got used to that routine, to wear a mask and wash our hands so that's just what we do every time we go out," Camila Peinado said. 

Camila is 12 years old and started her first day in middle school on Wednesday. Her parents, Armando and Johanna Peinado said they are waiting a couple of weeks before they give her the Covid-19 vaccine since she just got her regular back-to-school immunizations. 

For them what's most important is that they continue the routine they have created this past year.

"What they will continue to do is every time they come home they will wash their hands and their face to wash away outside germs," Armando Peinado said. 

Johanna and Armando say the best piece of advice they have is to be the role model you want your child to follow.

"They see us protecting ourselves, so they also want to do it. They know to wash their hands and not keep touching their faces. It's nothing new anymore it just becomes part of your habits," Johanna Peinado said. 

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