Eighty-one percent of Mississippi’s K-12 school districts require masks or face coverings to be worn on campus. However, that still leaves 159,737 students under no mask requirement, including four of the biggest school districts in the state — Madison County School District with 12,988 students, Harrison County School District with 13,666 students, Rankin County School District with 18,384 students and DeSoto County School District with 34,067 students, according to data from the Mississippi Department of Education’s website.

Last updated: November 9, 2021

View a visualization of Mississippi’s K-12 student population divided by how many are or are not subject to a mask requirement in their district:

Students under a mask requirement

283,409

Students NOT under a mask requirement

159,737

In addition to Desoto, Rankin, Harrison and Madison County school districts, the other 24 mask-optional districts include:

• Baldwyn School District (753)
• Clinton Public School District (5,250)
• Enterprise School District (924)
• George County School District (3,843)
• Itawamba County School District (3,378)
• Jackson County School District (8,765)
• Lauderdale County School District (5,680)
• Lee County School District (6,389)
• Lincoln County School District (2,733)
• Monroe County School District (2,095)
• Nettleton School District (1,170)
• North Tippah School District (1,259)
• Ocean Springs School District (5,739)
• Pontotoc County School District (3,524)
• Prentiss County School District (2,272)
• Scott County School District (3,785)
• Senatobia Municipal School District (1,676)
• South Tippah School District (2,535)
• Stone County School District (2,334)
• Tate County School District (2,097)
• Tishomingo County School District (2,850)
• Tupelo Public School District (7,005)
• Union County School District (2,899)
• Walthall County School District (1,677)

READ MORE: Inside one of Mississippi's mask-optional school districts

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Nigel Dent, a native of Natchez, is Mississippi Today’s audience journalist. He works as a member of the audience team to engage with readers, create audience-centered resources and distribute Mississippi Today’s news across various digital platforms, including social media and newsletter products.