ICCSD mask mandate extended

The mask mandate previously set to expire Oct. 11, has been extended.

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Owen Aanestad

A sign taped to the West High front door tells students, staff and visitors about the new mandate on Sept. 15.

Vivian Polgreen, Co-News Editor

Throughout the entire pandemic, state and city governments have been in opposition regarding the issue of mask mandates, especially in schools. On Feb. 7, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds banned school mask mandates, making Iowa one of nine states that do not require masks in schools. Texas, Florida and Arkansas, other states in this category, are also facing legal backlash. A few months later, Iowa City went against this ban and issued a city-wide mask mandate for all public areas.

Frances Parr, a mother of two young children residing in the Council Bluffs area, sued Kim Reynolds, arguing that the lack of a mask mandate in schools is putting her and her children at risk. In addition, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Disability Rights Iowa, and Arc of Iowa are also suing the state, arguing that the law prevents children with disabilities from having access to an equal education. Judge Robbert Pratt blocked the state law until the end of the court case, giving school districts the decision to decide for themselves whether or not masks should be optional.

At a school board meeting on Sept. 14, the ICCSD decided to enforce mask-wearing in all district buildings and school events. This temporary policy was set to expire on Oct 11. However, this policy was extended, in order to keep students and staff in the ICCSD safe, as the virus is still being transmitted in the community.