Class Conflict

Students aren’t the only ones anxious about going back to school this year. Parents are deeply divided on whether and how children should return to the classroom and who should be vaccinated. 

FGH’s Research and Insights team looked at some recent polling around how Americans are feeling about going back to school:

  • Two-thirds of American parents say if students over the age of 12 have not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, they should have to wear masks in schools.
  • 42% of parents feel comfortable with a vaccine mandate for students over the age of 12. Fifty-eight percent are against these mandates. 
  • Nearly three quarters of parents say that their children’s schools have generally made the right decisions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Just over a third of parents still feel uncomfortable sending their children back to school. 
  • About a third of Americans think schools this fall should be in-person as usual while another third believe schools should be in-person with masks and 21% think schools should combine in-person and remote learning. 
  • Three-quarters of parents with vaccinated children want their kids’ schools to require the COVID-19 vaccine for students while 83% of parents of unvaccinated children oppose a vaccine mandate in schools. 
  • 54% of parents with school-age children think schools should not require the COVID-19 vaccine even with full FDA approval for children that age. Forty-five percent of parents say schools should require the vaccine if approved by the FDA. 
  • 88% of parents who identify as Democrats think their child’s school should require masks, while 69% of Republican parents say schools should not require masks. 
  • Three in five parents say all teachers should be vaccinated before returning to in-person teaching in the fall.