Portrait of focused schoolgirl wearing protective face mask working at lesson in classroom, writing exercise
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The Bottom Line The Truth About School Mask Mandates

Originally published at The American Spectator

Few people have neutral feelings when it comes to mask mandates. As the coronavirus disrupts a third consecutive school year, emotions on the topic are running high for school leaders, teachers, parents, and even students. Those in favor of mask mandates and those opposed seem to agree on one thing — they are going to dig in their heels, fighting for their position.

As emotions run high, consideration of the facts about masks is sometimes secondary. The typical cloth facial covering is designed to prevent spit and blood from being transferred in non-surgical medical settings. And it’s not uncommon for a package of masks to list an explicit warning that they do not prevent the spread of infectious diseases or viruses. This is because cloth masks have holes, visual to the naked eye, that measure between five and 200 micrometers in diameter. However, coronavirus particles are a mere 0.1 micrometers in diameter.

Some have joked that wearing a cloth mask to protect against the coronavirus is similar to using a chain link fence to prevent mosquitoes. N95 masks, on the other hand, when properly fitting and providing a tight seal around the face, can filter approximately 99.8 percent of 0.1 micrometer particles. So if businesses, schools, and a host of public places are going to require masks, why not go with masks that actually have a significant capability of blocking the virus?

Government control stepped in when Covid made its debut in the first few months of 2020. As more information about the virus became available, and as the months of trying a variety of measures aimed at preventing the spread of the disease played out — hand washing, surface cleaning, mask-wearing, and social distancing — the edicts became more restrictive.

Even today, nearly twenty months later, healthy, young Americans will stand on assigned dots on the floor, placed a magical six feet apart, not because it’s scientifically valid but simply because they have been conditioned to comply with micromanaging mandates.

Past generations of healthy, young Americans willingly risked their lives for our freedom. Sadly, it is all too common today to see many willingly succumbing to government dictates that control their basic everyday decisions through stay-at-home orders, mask mandates, limited religious gatherings, and most recently through forced vaccinations. It’s not uncommon these days to see a young person riding a skateboard outdoors alone while wearing a mask.

If we don’t courageously speak up and fight back, gone will be the days where America could rightfully be called the land of the free and the brave.

KEri D. INgraham

It seems that our government is no longer operated by the people, for the people, as Abraham Lincoln famously charged in the Gettysburg Address. Rather, those in political power are mandating what should be worn and what one is permitted to say. If we don’t courageously speak up and fight back, gone will be the days where America could rightfully be called the land of the free and the brave. God bless those who are taking a stand. And right now, some of the bravest voices are parents who are pushing back against school boards that are forcing far-left agendas on children, at the expense of their education. The latest control tactic is the masking of children in schools.

Data compiled as of August 13 reveal statewide mask mandates for all schools in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C., regardless of a person’s vaccination status. New Mexico is mandating masks in schools for anyone not vaccinated, which is 100 percent of students under the age of 12. Conversely, only nine states prohibit schools from mandating masks — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. The remainder of states allow schools at the local level to mandate masks if desired, which is frequently occurring regardless of coronavirus case numbers in the community.

Let’s join those courageous parents and demand that our government-run public schools, funded with taxpayer dollars, return authority to where it belongs — parents. Families should decide whether it is in the best interest of their children to wear a mask over their face for a six-and-a-half-hour school day.

Keri D. Ingraham

Senior Fellow and Director, American Center for Transforming Education
Dr. Keri D. Ingraham is a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute and Director of the Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education. She is also a Senior Fellow at Independent Women’s Forum. Dr. Ingraham has been a guest on Fox News multiple times. Her articles have been published by The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Federalist, Real Clear Education, The Washington Times, The Epoch Times, Washington Examiner, National Review, The American Spectator, Daily Caller, The Seattle Times, Puget Sound Business Journal, The Daily Signal, and a host of other media outlets. Fox News has featured her work. Prior to joining Discovery Institute, she spent nearly two decades leading within the field of education as a national consultant, requested conference speaker, head of school, virtual and hybrid academy director, administrator, classroom teacher, and athletic coach. She authored multiple chapters for the book, Sketching a New Conservative Education Agenda, published in 2022. In 2019, she was invited as a contributing author for the book, MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education and co-authored “From Gutenberg to 5G.” Dr. Ingraham was awarded the George W. Selig Doctoral Fellowship in 2013. The following year she received the “World Changer in the Field of Education” award from Regent University.
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