Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Signs Bill Banning Mask Mandates In Schools
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was up late last night as the end of the 2021 Iowa Legislature session was coming to an end. Right before this year's session was adjourned, Reynolds signed a law that was pretty straight to the point. Schools can no longer require masks effective immediately.
The 2020-2021 school year is coming to an end in about two weeks. Even though most school districts throughout the state of Iowa have required students and staff to wear a mask while in person this year, when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced their new guidelines, the "masks debate" was risen from the grave.
Schools throughout the Quad Cities and the states of Iowa and Illinois are being faced with parents complaining on both sides, contradicting state and federal guidelines, and trying to just finish the school year in peace.
Iowa school districts facing the tough decision on whether to require masks or not for the remainder of the school year got a crystal clear on whether they should or not early Thursday morning from Governor Kim Reynolds. The simple answer: Schools can't require masks.
According to Radio Iowa, Reynolds signed the bill shortly after midnight to ban mask mandates in all Iowa schools. The bill also bans mask mandates in cities and counties. Since Reynolds signed the bill shortly after midnight and it became law immediately.
Governor Reynolds said in her social media post at 12:57 a.m. this morning,
"The state of Iowa is putting parents back in control of their child’s education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decisions."
The Bettendorf Community School District released a statement to parents Thursday morning following the news of Reynolds signing the bill. The letter sent to parents said,
"Dear BCSD Parents/Guardians,
Overnight Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law legislation that prohibits schools from mandating masks as well as cities and counties from mandating masks in businesses. This new law is effective immediately.
This means parents, students, and staff will make their own decision about mask usage. As we finish the school year, we strongly encourage students and staff to wear face coverings in our buildings until they are vaccinated. Our staff will work will visit with their students today about this change, and we encourage you to discuss this with your student(s). We will continue to practice other current mitigation measures.
If you have questions, please call your building principal.
We are committed to continuing to support and care for each other as we finish the 2020-2021 school year.
Dr. Michelle Morse"
In short, your child no longer is required to wear a mask at school if they don't want to. If the school has a mask mandate, it is officially nullified. Cities and counties can't create a mask mandate, but private businesses can.