Court Decides that Iowa Schools Can Require Masks… Kind of
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ARC of Iowa filed a lawsuit against Governor Kim Reynolds within the last year for banning schools from requiring masks.
Per KCCI, the group's lawsuit " (argued) the law violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and kept students who were in danger of contracting COVID-19 from being in school."
The 8th Circuit Court was left to proceed and determine the suit's outcome, and their decision came today, May 16. Now, schools are allowed to require masks once again "as a reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities." The decision came via citing federal disability rights laws.
Here's a chunk of what the ruling included:
"A final point. Irrespective of the outcome of this litigation, parents of children with disabilities may still seek accommodations to ensure their children may safely access their schools as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on. Section 280.31 explicitly includes an exception when 'any other provision of law' requires face coverings. Schools are equipped to determine on an individualized, case-by-case basis—just as schools do for any other type of reasonable accommodation request—whether a mask requirement for certain people or places in the school building is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA and RA. This is what federal law requires, and what Section 280.31—and Defendants who are charged with enforcing it—must allow."
These are some of the major school districts in the state that had mask mandates at one point in time, according to the Des Moines Register:
- Ames Community School District
- Ankeny Community School District
- Burlington Community School District
- Cedar Rapids Community School District
- Des Moines Public Schools
- Iowa City Community School District
- Johnston Community School District
- Urbandale Community School District
- West Burlington Independent School District
- West Des Moines Community School District
No news has been shared as to whether or not any of the aforementioned schools or any others will once again require masks in any capacity.