Bans on School Mask Mandates Discriminate Against Disabled Kids
September 16, 2021
As millions of children head back to school, some states have banned mask mandates on school grounds. As of this recording, school districts in eight states cannot require students to wear a mask in school; if they do, many risk losing crucial state funding.
This ban ignores national recommendations by the CDC to wear a mask indoors for those who are unvaccinated or in an area of high COVID transmission. For children with disabilities or families with high-risk medical conditions, the ban makes in-person learning perilous. Many children are forced back into remote learning even though studies have shown students — particularly students of color and those with disabilities — fall behind when they can’t attend school in person.
Excluding these children from in-person learning violates federal law which is why the ACLU’s Disability Rights Program is suing on behalf of groups of parents with vulnerable children in both South Carolina and Iowa. Joining us to talk about the case is Samantha Boevers, one of the parents in the case, and Susan Mizner, the director of the ACLU’s Disability Rights Program.