CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York’s mask mandate for schools will officially be lifted Wednesday. After almost two years of the pandemic, some families will decide they are more comfortable with their students continuing to mask up. Districts hope this will not lead to conflict among students.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Rudy Nydegger said what kids hear at home will have a big influence on the way they react to the choices of others. “If you’re making fun of people for wearing masks or not wearing masks, guess what? That’s what your kids are going to do,” said Dr. Nydegger. “Be good role models.”

Many districts, like Shenendehowa, are getting ahead of potential issues that could arise. In a letter to parents regarding the new mask guidance, the superintendent wrote:

“It is crucial that we respect each other’s decisions and continue to be cautious about close contact. People can wear a mask at any time.”

Dr. L. Oliver Robinson, Shenendehowa CSD Superintendent

Rensselaer City School District Superintendent Joseph Kardash shared a similar sentiment with families. “We have a day where a lot of people are going to be happy,” he said about the upcoming guidance relaxation. “Let’s just keep being kind to each other.”

Laura Garrant—whose 5-year-old son, Royal, is a student in South Glens Falls—is not ready for him to lose the mask just yet. She feels the extra protection provided by a mask is still something she wants for her family. “That was hard for me, as a mom of a 5-year-old, to have to tell him that he’s going to have to be strong,” Garrant explained. “He’s going to have to go against what other people, and maybe the majority, are doing.”

Garrant said although Royal’s friends are all very nice and supportive, he will know how to stick up for himself if he has to, should anyone make a comment to him about staying masked up. “He has no problem reminding people, such as my husband: ‘Daddy, you have to wear your mask because we don’t want to get sick. We don’t want to catch COVID.'”