WASHINGTON (WDVM) — As of Wednesday, March 16, wearing a mask in District of Columbia Public Schools is optional.

The school system made the announcement on Friday, March 11, and received mixed reviews on social media. While there were many people thanking the school system for giving them a choice, others were upset it was becoming an option.

Much of the concern came around low vaccination rates among eligible children, as well as ventilation issues that are still present in some schools.

Dania Palanker, who sent her child to school masked, said, “The mask is not and has never been just about her or just about us, and she knows that. We want to try to make it safer if any of her classmates or teachers or staff are immunocompromised or high risk. We want them to be safe in school.”

Another parent, Mourad Moursi, sent both of his children to school without a mask on Wednesday. He said that the choice was due to a number of studies he has read from the CDC as well as those that have been done overseas.

“I’m glad the DCPS is taking the guidance that D.C. Health and the CDC have put forth,” Moursi said.

While the school system is giving people an option when it comes to masks, the messaging was clear that people should respect others decisions around masks.