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.
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