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Parents Face Difficult Decisions As Children Return To The Classroom

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

This episode of Talk of Iowa explores some of the challenges school boards, teachers, parents and students are facing as their second pandemic school year begins.

Last week Iowa saw 4,836 new cases of COVID 19, about 11% of those cases are among children who are under the age of 18. Cases and hospitalizations across the state are surging as the delta variant spreads. This is happening as students are heading back to school. Kids who are 12 and up are eligible for the Pfizer COVID 19 vaccine, but only about 30% of Iowans in that age group have been vaccinated and none of the children going back to school will be required to wear masks in their classrooms due to the Iowa Legislature fast-tracking a bill that made it illegal for schools in the state to require facial coverings.

On this episode, host Charity Nebbe speaks with the author bill Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison. Later she hears from a parent about her concerns over the return to school and a pediatric doctor answers questions on the reality of spread in schools.


  • State Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison
  • Dr. William Ching, pediatric hospitalist at Unity Point Health, St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids
  • Grant Gerlock, reporter, Iowa Public Radio
  • Tanya Keith, parent, advocate for removing the mask mandate
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa