Michigan Gov. Whitmer Changes Course, Will Sign Bill Banning School Mask Mandates and Vaccine Passports

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who earned a reputation for imposing extremely strict COVID-19 restrictions, will now sign a bill that bans mask mandates and vaccine passports. 

The measures are part of the state’s $70 billion budget bill, which clocks in at 1,000 pages.

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Ohio Teachers Union Calls for Masks in All Schools

Growing COVID-19 Delta variant cases and more school closures have led Ohio’s largest teachers union to again call upon school districts around the state impose mask mandates on students, teachers and staff.

The Ohio Education Association said in a news release it wants local school districts to temporarily require all students and staff to wear masks inside school buildings until the current wave of Delta variant cases subsides.

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Commentary: Homeschooling Numbers Are Skyrocketing in Some Parts of the Country

The numbers are startling. More parents are pulling their children out of school for homeschooling this fall, prompted in large part by school mask policies and ongoing virus concerns.

The homeschooling rate in the US doubled in 2020, and tripled from its pre-pandemic level, as parents sought other options when confronted with prolonged school closures.

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Stanford Professor Says ‘Whiteness’ Explains Parents’ Opposition to School Mask Mandates

On August 17, Hakeem Jefferson, a professor of political science at Stanford University, launched a series of tweets that claimed protestors of school mask mandates are doing so because of their “Whiteness”.

Hakeem’s tweets claim that the protests and opposition to mask-wearing are caused by “Whiteness” and that comprehensive discussions about these protests cannot be had without acknowledging that.

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Wisconsin State Superintendent Calls Mask Protests ‘Noise,’ Pushes Masks and Vaccines

Wisconsin’s state superintendent is taking a swipe at parents who don’t want their kids to be forced to mask-up this school year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly on Wednesday wrote an op-ed that dismisses parents who are protesting mask mandates at their local schools.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer, Lawmakers, School Groups Clash over Mask Policy

Two young, brunette girls wearing black masks

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, lawmakers, and some school administrators are clashing over back-to-school COVID-19 policies.

Ken Gutman, who serves on the K-12 Alliance of Michigan’s Board of Directors and is superintendent of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, called on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to develop a COVID-19 delta variant plan for schools and for the department or local health departments to enact a mitigation strategy that includes a possible mask mandate inside school buildings.

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DeSantis to Issue Executive Order over Masks in Florida Schools

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) held a conference Friday where he said he will be issuing an executive order “protecting the rights of parents” permitting them to make decisions about masking their children in this upcoming school year and banning school mask mandates.

“In Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis feels Florida’s parents should be allowed to decide about masking issues for their own child’s safety.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Warns Against Federal Mask Requirement Recommendations for Kids

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has continued his fight with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky put forward new recommendations for K-12 school systems to require masks for the upcoming school year regardless of vaccination status.

The CDC has changed its tune, once again, after COVID cases have risen over the last few weeks and the school year is fast approaching for many across the country.

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Virginia Department of Health Recommends Local School Districts Require Masks in Elementary Schools

New guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education asks local divisions to implement their own mask guidelines based on the local COVID-19 environment.

The guidance doesn’t include mandatory policies for the whole Commonwealth, but does recommend requiring masks for everyone in elementary schools regardless of vaccination status until vaccines are available for children under 12. They also recommend that middle- and high-school staff and students should wear masks if not vaccinated.

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Williamson County Schools Rescinds Mask Mandate After Saying Judge Didn’t Rule Against Their Authority to Impose It

Williamson County Schools (WCS) announced Friday they’re ending their mask mandate, several weeks after a judge opined they lacked legal authority to continue imposing it. After the spring semester lets out, WCS won’t require masks any longer. In a voicemail obtained by The Tennessee Star, WCS Communications Director Carol Birdsong announced to parents that WCS was ending their mask mandate.

“Hello Williamson County Schools families, this is Carol Birdsong calling. Superintendent Jason Golden announced at last night’s school board work session that the district’s indoor mask requirement will come to an end once school has been dismissed and campuses have been cleared on Friday, May 21. The district will continue to recommend and encourage masks this summer for those who are not fully vaccinated – but they will not be required. More information is included in the email that is accompanying this phone call.”

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Williamson County Schools Ignores Judge Ruling Against Mask Mandates

Williamson County Schools (WCS) will continue their mask mandate, although a judge opined that they lacked authority to do so. Since Williamson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Binkley dismissed the case for lack of standing, he didn’t order the Williamson County Board of Education (WCBOE) to stop enforcing their mask mandate. However, he did specify in an alternative ruling that WCBOE lacked the legal authority to continue enforcing their mask mandate.

The Court is not convinced, as a matter of law, that WCBOE acted within its statutory authority at the time it promulgated its face-covering requirements. Further, the policy decisions promulgated by Mayor [Rogers] Anderson and Governor [Bill] Lee in February 2021 and April 2021 are inconsistent with WCBOE’s continued enforcement of face-covering requirements. With respect to WCBOE’s authority to issue a face-covering requirement, [their] Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment is alternatively DENIED. The Court cannot find, as a matter of law, Defendants have acted within the authority given to them by the legislature when enacting face-covering requirements.

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