Feds Probe Whether 5 States With Mask-Mandate Bans Violate Laws Protecting Students Rights

“It’s simply unacceptable that state leaders are putting politics over the health and education of the students they took an oath to serve," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said

Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, elementary school students line up to enter school for the first day of classes in Richardson, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. Despite Texas Gov Greg Abbott's executive order banning mask mandates by local officials, the Richardson Independent School District and many others across the state are requiring masks for students.
AP Photo/LM Otero

The Department of Education has launched a civil rights investigation into whether states that have banned mask mandates are discriminating against students with disabilities who could be at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

The department's Office for Civil Rights has opened directed investigations in five states — Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

“The Department has heard from parents from across the country — particularly parents of students with disabilities and with underlying medical conditions — about how state bans on universal indoor masking are putting their children at risk and preventing them from accessing in-person learning equally,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

The department said the Office for Civil Rights has not opened investigations in Florida, Texas, Arkansas, or Arizona because their bans on indoor mask mandates are not currently being enforced.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

Justin Kanew's speech during a public comment period at a Williamson County Board of Education meeting encouraging parents to have their kids wear masks has gone viral. Kanew quoted his pastor who said "wearing masks is not in the bible, but taking care of others is."
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