The Education Department has opened civil rights investigations into five states that banned school mask mandates, charging the bans discriminate against children with disabilities or medical issues.
However, not a single law or executive order in those states prevents people from wearing masks inside schools, points out the website Legal Insurrection.
The deparment’s Office of Civil Rights will investigate the bans on mask mandates in Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
All five states are led by Republican governors.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona explained in a press release that the department “heard from parents from across the country – particularly parents of students with disabilities and with underlying medical conditions – about how state bans on universal indoor masking are putting their children at risk and preventing them from accessing in-person learning equally.”
“It’s simply unacceptable that state leaders are putting politics over the health and education of the students they took an oath to serve,” he said. “The Department will fight to protect every student’s right to access in-person learning safely and the rights of local educators to put in place policies that allow all students to return to the classroom full-time in-person safely this fall.”
But Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt pointed out the law in his state doesn’t prevent parents from voluntarily having their children wear masks or get vaccinated, reported Legal Insurrection writer Mary Chastain.
“The difference is, we’re not going to mandate that somebody else has to send their 4-year-old to school with a mask or someone else has to get their 4-year-old vaccinated,” Stitt said.
Likewise, the Iowa law simply states school districts cannot implement a law mandating masks. It does not say a child can’t wear a mask at school.
In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order that allows parents to opt their child out of any mask mandate passed by school districts.
South Carolina has taken the same approach, with Gov. Henry McMaster arguing, “Personal responsibility is the answer, common sense is the answer, and we have an abundance of both in South Carolina.”
Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].
This article was originally published by the WND News Center.