The Schooling Division introduced Monday that it’s investigating 5 states which have banned masks necessities in faculties, saying the insurance policies might quantity to discrimination towards college students with disabilities or well being situations.
The division’s Workplace for Civil Rights despatched letters to schooling chiefs in Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
These states have barred faculties from requiring masks amongst all college students and employees, a transfer that the division says might forestall some college students from safely attending college.
“It’s merely unacceptable that state leaders are placing politics over the well being and schooling of the scholars they took an oath to serve,” Schooling Secretary Miguel Cardona mentioned in an announcement.
“The division will combat to guard each scholar’s proper to entry in-person studying safely.”
It marks a pointy escalation within the Biden administration’s battle with states that say sporting masks needs to be a private selection.
President Joe Biden final week requested Cardona to discover attainable authorized motion, prompting the division to look at whether or not the insurance policies might quantity to civil rights violations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends common mask-wearing for college kids and lecturers within the classroom, no matter vaccination standing.
Ought to faculties be allowed to find out their very own mask-wearing insurance policies?
Sure: 67% (6 Votes)
No: 33% (3 Votes)
If the investigations decide that the state masks bans have discriminated towards college students with disabilities, it might result in sanctions together with a lack of federal schooling funding.
The division mentioned it has not opened investigations in different states the place masks bans have been overturned by courts or are usually not being enforced, together with in Florida, Texas, Arkansas and Arizona.
However the company mentioned it’s “carefully monitoring” these states and is ready to take motion if mandatory.
The investigations goal to find out whether or not state masks bans quantity to a violation of scholars’ proper to a free public schooling. The division is elevating issues that in areas with excessive COVID-19 transmissions, the bans might discriminate towards college students who’re at heightened threat for extreme sickness.
The department is launching the investigations at its personal discretion and never in response to complaints from mother and father, however Cardona mentioned households have raised issues that masks bans might put youngsters with disabilities or well being situations in danger.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Related Press story and will have altered it previous to publication to make sure that it meets our editorial requirements.
https://www.westernjournal.com/bidens-education-department-announces-investigation-accusing-states-ban-mask-wearing-schools-discrimination/ | Biden’s Schooling Division Declares Investigation, Accusing States That Ban Masks-Carrying in Colleges of Discrimination