NC House Speaker plans for legislation allowing parents to opt-out of school mask requirements

NC House Speaker wants parents to have choice on masks in school
Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 2:05 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) says state lawmakers will work to pass legislation giving parents the ability to opt out of any requirement for their children to wear masks in schools.

Speaker Moore said he had written Gov. Roy Cooper, asking to put an end to “policies that effectively mandate masks in schools”. On Thursday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit, removing the recommendation regarding individual contract tracing in the state’s K-12 schools. However, the toolkit still contains the following recommendation regarding masks in schools:

All schools should:

Require all children and staff in schools K-12th grade to wear masks consistently when indoors in areas of high or substantial transmission, as defined by the CDC.

“Keeping kids in the classroom remains a top priority,” NC DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley said in a news release. “As we have done throughout the pandemic, we evaluate which tools are most effective to protect students and staff. This is the right approach for this point in the pandemic and includes flexibility for local schools and health departments to use data to make informed decisions and respond to local conditions.”

“This failure by Governor Cooper and DHHS to roll back obsolete mask mandates will mean that many schools will leave those mandates in place,” Speaker Moore said in an email news release. “As soon as redistricting is completed, we will be advancing legislation in the House to give parents the ability to opt-out of mask requirement. Virginia is already advancing a bipartisan bill just like this. It is parents, not politicians, who should decide whether or not to mask their children.”

The state House and Senate both reconvene at Noon on Monday, February 14.

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