Evanston teachers push back against removal of mask requirements

COVID restrictions may be easing across the country, but here in Illinois there are still some places where people are fighting to keep mask requirements in place.

On Monday, Chicago will lift the last remaining COVID restrictions: mask mandates and vaccine requirements for most businesses.

However, Chicago Public Schools will keep their mask mandate in place.

On Thursday, Evanston teachers called on their superintendent to do the same after District 202 announced a shift to mask optional starting Monday.

Teachers said the decision was made with no input from the community.


Rick Cardis, president of the teachers union at Evanston Township High called it "a major shift in our working conditions and more importantly in our students' learning conditions."

He said the change is "causing unnecessary worry and anxiety about our health and safety."

FOX 32 reached out to District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon but did not hear back.

The Evanston Township High School website said they encourage mask wearing but will not enforce it:

"ETHS District 202 continues to consult the guidance from CDC, IDPH, the Evanston Health Department, D65, and the ETHS Medical Advisory Group as we closely monitor local and regional guidance. Due to the lack of clarity and the fluidity about the state mandates, ETHS highly recommends, but does not mandate, wearing masks while indoors for all students and staff as of February 28, 2022."