Iowa Governor Will Appeal Court Ruling on School Mask Mandates
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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has announced her intention to challenge a federal judge’s ruling that permits school districts to implement universal mask mandates for students and staff.
Reynolds stated in a written statement, "As I have consistently stated, the decision of whether a child should wear a mask in school should lie with the parents, not the government. I will appeal this ruling to ensure that Iowa families retain the right to choose what is best for their children."
In May 2021, Reynolds signed a law that prohibited school districts from imposing mask mandates on students and staff. This law prompted a lawsuit initiated by parents of children with disabilities or chronic health conditions that make them more vulnerable to complications from contracting COVID-19.
The parents claimed that the state’s actions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because school districts were unable to make reasonable accommodations for their children through the implementation of mask mandates.
Although an injunction was issued to prevent the enforcement of the new law, Reynolds appealed this decision. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned the injunction, acknowledging that the COVID-19 situation in classrooms had changed since the start of the pandemic.
However, this ruling solely addressed the injunction and did not address the broader issue of the law’s legality. Litigation concerning this matter persisted, and on Tuesday, a federal judge once again ruled in favor of the parents. The judge emphasized that doctors had recommended the use of masks for three students, including their teachers and classmates.
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