Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has been clear, even while campaigning to be mayor, that he adamantly opposes mandating residents wear masks. On Friday, Aug. 6, he took issue with Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop’s insistence that all students must mask up in order to access public school buildings.

Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop

“My position has been, and will continue to be, very clear on the issue of COVID mandates,” Bronson posted on Facebook. “I am opposed to mandates. I am opposed to mandates masking our residents and our children. I am opposed to mandates shutting down our businesses.”

The newly elected conservative mayor also took aim at those who are increasingly agitating for vaccine mandates.

“I am opposed to mandating vaccinations,” he said. “Anchorage residents should be free to make their own decisions about their healthcare, about their families, and about their children’s education.”

Unlike policies set for the upcoming school year, summer school sessions were mask optional for students, staff and parents – vaccinated or not.

“Therefore, I strongly oppose the Anchorage School District’s back-to-school mask mandate and strongly encourage them to immediately reconsider,” he added. “Masking choice has been successful in the Anchorage School District throughout the summer school session and can be successful now.”

Superintendent Bishop admitted in a recent online post that the school district successfully ran its largest summer school program in years with more than 9,000 students participating in-person between June and August.

“During our summer school programs, we had less than 10 confirmed COVID cases and no known spread,” she said.

Unlike the policies she’s set for the upcoming school year, the summer school sessions were mask optional for students, staff and parents – vaccinated or not.

When classes resume on Aug. 17, however, masks will be required of all students, staff, parents and visitors who darken the door of an Anchorage school or facility. Some limited exceptions may apply for educational purposes or when the fully vaccinated are separated. Additionally, masks won’t be required outside.

The mayor, however, noted that other large school districts have decided to make masking optional this fall. That includes schools in Mat-Su, Fairbanks and Kenai.

“This should be about parental and student choice,” Bronson said, “not top down government mandates.”

The Anchorage School Board has given the superintendent free reign to implement mask mandates despite the lone objections by School Board Member Dave Donley.


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Mayor urges Anchorage superintendent to ditch universal masking in schools

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    About time Anchorage has a Mayor with guts enough to say no mask required, it’s optional. If your that afraid wear a mask. If not don’t wear one. It’s that simple people! You know the risk. It should be your choice.

    Thank you Mr. Mayor!

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    masks will be required of all students, staff, parents and visitors who darken the door of an Anchorage school or facility.

    Yes these are very dark days. The left wanting control of ever thing we do.
    Yes a big Thank You Mr Mayor big supporter

  • Ralph says:

    If this renamed flu bug was THAT dangerous.. there would be state provided mask disposal receptacles around the state..
    -If you NEED a mask.. stay at home and wear it.. the rest of us have lives to live.

    • kris spencer says:

      Exactly! When was the last time any of this happened over ANY flu??? Not during outbreaks of MERS in the 1980’s (MERS is far worse than covid), Not during swine flu in 2009, Not bird flu or even Ebola (though few Ebola cases reached the U.S.) And remember, just the regular seasonal flu with upper respiratory issues takes the lives of thousands each and every year. CDC stats say the 2017-2018 flu season was 80,000 deaths in U.S. But now suddenly, here comes covid and everyone is freaking out? Good grief.

  • Steven Carson says:

    Our idiot mayor is doing his best to be a second-rate ron desantis. Recall. Don’t you care about your kids?

    • Sincere “Other” Parent says:

      Dear Steve Carson,

      The Science shows us that kids are more likely to die from the seasonal flu than from CoVID.

      By ASD’s own admission they had 9,000 students enrolled in summer programs with 10 infections – 9 of which were staff (read: adults).

      Also, Steven Carson, do YOU have children? I have four, but only one in ASD. He was a shell of his former self during lockdown. BECAUSE I care about my kid I want my kid to be free. BECAUSE I care about other people’s kids I think their parents should be the ones to make decisions for their kids – not the government. So before you impugn the motives of others with your patronizing question (“do you care about your kids?”) perhaps you might seriously consider a possible motive contrary to your own that doesn’t presuppose evil intent.

    • kris spencer says:

      hmmm…let me see now. Where were the masks and the social distancing during the regular flu season of 2017-2018 when CDC stats showed 80,000 people (mostly the very elderly) died? What about Bird Flu? Swine Flu in 2009??? That was pretty bad, then, I recall. No masks, no masks on children. During the 1980’s we had several outbreaks of MERS (way worse than SARS covid). Again, no masks, no shuttering churches and businesses. This is not about the flu, it’ about causing disruption, division, discontent.

  • Sharon Turner says:

    First we are appalled at how easily our Citizenry comply with the tyranny. Phony science, worse than no science. Like mosquitoes kept out using a chain link fence! The idiocy of our public.. is scary– this is 100% out of the Stalinist, Maoist playbook. And to let this little fiefdom we call ASD schoolboard direct the delicate lives of YOUR kids? You- parents will reap a bad ‘grade’ for this. Kick out school Boards, Teachers Unions (*a big task) and take back your power as parents; then look yourselves in the mirror. grandma