The American Civil Liberties Union is suing South Carolina over a ban on mask mandates in schools.
Earlier this summer, the South Carolina state legislature passed a budget bill with conditions prohibiting school districts from using government funds to “require that its students and/or employees wear a face mask at any of its education facilities.” Scientific studies are clear that COVID-19 transmission among children is much lower than among adults but that hasn’t stopped the Biden administration, the CDC, teachers’ unions, and now the ACLU from pushing for students and vaccinated teachers to mask up this fall.
The leftist activist group, which represents several parents of children with disabilities and other groups, is targeting Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, his administration, and certain school districts for prohibiting face-covering requirements because they say the rule “effectively exclude[s] these students with disabilities from participation in the public education system, in violation of the [Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act].”
“School districts with students who have disabilities, including underlying medical conditions, that make them more likely to contract and/or become severely ill from a COVID-19 infection have a legal obligation to ensure that those children can attend school with the knowledge that the school district has followed recommended protocols to ensure their safety,” the lawsuit states, citing the CDC’s anti-science universal masking protocols for children as young as two years old.
“By prohibiting any school from imposing a mask mandate, Proviso 1.108 interferes with that school’s ability to comply with its obligations under federal disability rights laws and illegally forces parents of children with underlying conditions to choose between their child’s education and their child’s health and safety, in violation of the ADA and Section 504,” it continues. “Further, such a prohibition needlessly and unconscionably exposes South Carolina school children and their families to a heightened risk of infection, hospitalization, and death.”
McMaster did not comment on the lawsuit but his spokesman Brian Symmes told NPR that the governor stands by parental choice when it comes to masking.
“While we don’t comment on specific litigation, the only truly inclusive option is to allow every parent to decide whether their child will wear a mask in school. That’s exactly what the General Assembly’s budget proviso does in South Carolina,” Symmes said.
Just last week, President Joe Biden directed the Department of Education to begin targeting Republican states that passed or enacted mask mandate bans for schools. Under the guise of “civil rights” and giving equal justice to Americans under the law, Biden ordered his Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to launch investigations into the states that do not allow face-covering requirements.
Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.