Parents concerned over mask mandate ban hold Statehouse sit-in

Dozens of Iowa parents and teachers held a sit-in at the Statehouse Wednesday, urging Gov. Kim Reynolds to rethink her law banning mask mandates.Iowans for Universal Masks in Schools met for a sit-in at the Capitol.In addition to reconsidering the mask mandate ban, the group asked that Reynolds reinstate contact tracing, parent notification of positive COVID-19 cases in classrooms and follow quarantine guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The American Academy of Pediatrics reports 95,000 COVID-19 cases attributed to children between July 29 and Aug. 5.Tanya Keith, founder of Iowans for Universal Masks in Schools, said thousands of Iowa parents are facing a tough decision between keeping their children home or sending them to schools without mask mandates.”It really was concerning to me that I was going to have to send my daughter to school and she was basically going to be unprotected,” Keith said.Keith said keeping children home would keep them healthy but jeopardize their ability to learn.Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement, “Parental control is local control and parents have the option to send their kids to school with a mask or not. As I have throughout this pandemic, I trust Iowans to do the right thing and make the decisions about what’s best for themselves and their family.”Most metro school districts begin instruction the week of Aug. 23.

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Dozens of Iowa parents and teachers held a sit-in at the Statehouse Wednesday, urging Gov. Kim Reynolds to rethink her law banning mask mandates.

Iowans for Universal Masks in Schools met for a sit-in at the Capitol.

In addition to reconsidering the mask mandate ban, the group asked that Reynolds reinstate contact tracing, parent notification of positive COVID-19 cases in classrooms and follow quarantine guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports 95,000 COVID-19 cases attributed to children between July 29 and Aug. 5.

Tanya Keith, founder of Iowans for Universal Masks in Schools, said thousands of Iowa parents are facing a tough decision between keeping their children home or sending them to schools without mask mandates.

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“It really was concerning to me that I was going to have to send my daughter to school and she was basically going to be unprotected,” Keith said.

Keith said keeping children home would keep them healthy but jeopardize their ability to learn.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement, “Parental control is local control and parents have the option to send their kids to school with a mask or not. As I have throughout this pandemic, I trust Iowans to do the right thing and make the decisions about what’s best for themselves and their family.”

Most metro school districts begin instruction the week of Aug. 23.

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