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Education Department targets mask mandate bans

A mother and child embrace outside iPrep Academy in Miami on the first day of school. Associated Press/Photo by Lynne Sladky

Education Department targets mask mandate bans

All children have a right to a free public education, but some students with chronic illness cannot attend school during the COVID-19 pandemic unless their classmates wear masks, according to the U.S. Department of Education. On Monday, the department opened civil rights investigations into five states that have banned mask requirements in schools.

What is the argument over? At the end of the last school year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said schools did not need to require masks indoors anymore. But in July, the agency reversed course and recommended masking at all K-12 schools to mitigate the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus. The five states in the Education Department’s crosshairs—Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah—say parents should choose whether their children wear masks.

Dig deeper: Read Esther Eaton’s report on families who homeschooled their children for the first time during the pandemic.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kan.



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As a science and medical person, research keeps rolling in, they sort the wheat from the chaff, and revise the changes. Simple. This is not some nefarious plot. I do not understand why doctors and scientists are suddenly evil or untrustworthy suddenly.
If you have a public health crisis, you look out for other people and not just yourself. That is Biblical. If most people would do the loving thing for shots and masks voluntarily, then those immunocompromised students can come back into the classroom and we would have less talk of mandates. If a state now has high numbers of cases, mandates may have to be done to help everyone come together. Mandates depend on how high the risk is of infection. Not all students are capable or have the technical access to learn remotely.
If you want to make an argument for individual rights, you can make a stronger one for other non-health issues, but what Johnny does can affect little Susie and potentially make her very sick.


Why must a state mandate that “all schools must have strict mask requirements” or “no school may enforce mask requirements.”

Why can’t they simply say “we leave it to each school district to make the decision as to whether to require masks or not, depending on their individual circumstances.”

Tim MillerOldMike

This is wisdom.


"...reverse course" sounds so mundane. So matter of fact and benign. But the implications of their decisions and mandates are staggering. As are the continual course changes that are unpredictable and all often political and driven by ignorance and supposed "data."