JUDGE TEMPORARY ORDER ALLOWS FOR IOWA SCHOOLS TO MANDATE MASKS

KATIE HIRV, KNIGHT WIRE MANAGER

Judge Robert Pratt, a federal judge, ordered the state of Iowa to halt the enforcement of a law Governor Kim Reynolds passed in May. The judge’s order is to be put in effect immediately.

Reynolds signed a law that prevented public school boards from ordering masks to be worn to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Pratt said he has looked at the data on the effectiveness of masks to reduce the spread of the virus and agrees with recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics on mask-wearing in schools.

Pratt’s order said that Reynolds and Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo cannot enforce the ban from using their own discretions on mask mandates.

Reynolds responded to the order with the following statement: “Today, a federal judge unilaterally overturned a state law, ignored the decision by our elected legislature and took away parents’ ability to decide what’s best for their child. We will appeal and exercise every legal option we have to uphold state law and defend the rights and liberties afforded to any American citizen protected by our constitution.”

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