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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Thousands of students in Jackson County returned to the classroom Monday without masks. When the county ended its mask mandate Friday, some districts made them optional.

Parents have divided opinions on the decision. While some are happy, others said this is too soon.

“Our kids got vaccinated, they got their first dose last week, but they’re not fully vaccinated yet,” said Scott Casey, a Blue Springs parent.

Casey said it’s too soon for schools to go back to normal. He said if a lot of children between the ages of 5 to 11 were fully vaccinated, it would make more sense to make masks optional at school.

“We’ve looked at what the health department has said and what the CDC has said, and we don’t feel that it’s safe at this point to be going without masks,” Casey said.

But since masks are not required at his kid’s school, he decided to keep them home instead on Monday.

Starting Monday Blue Springs and Grain Valley school districts dropped their mask requirements for students and staff.

Independence is letting all sixth through 12th graders go mask-less in their schools while elementary students will still be masked up.

“People need to see smiles,” said Mitch Smedley, another Blue Springs parent. “So much of a person’s emotion comes through their face.”

Smedley said it’s a decision his family has been waiting on Blue Springs to make and he doesn’t think it will have a big impact on students.

“If you look at how this affects children, even the spread to children and everything else, it is very miniscule,” Smedley said. “Not to say it doesn’t happen, but it’s not to the level that’s going to impact.”

Other districts in the county, like Raytown, will continue to enforce a mask mandate. Lee’s Summit will reconsider at its meeting this week.