Second bill seeking to ban student mask requirements to enter Ohio House

By: - August 13, 2021 12:40 am

The delta variant has been spreading to more children | Getty Images.

An Ohio GOP state rep is making another push to ban mask mandates for students in schools, as child COVID-19 cases rise.

State Rep. Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta, is seeking cosponsors on a bill “prohibiting schools in Ohio from mandating that students wear masks.”

“With our children return to the classroom shortly, based off of the outcry I’ve heard from constituents I believe this is a decision that should remain optional and up to the discretion of parents on whether their child needs to wear a mask — not a mandate from schools receiving public taxpayer funds,” Loychik said in a statement.

The bill would not keep faculty, staff and guests from being mandated to wear masks.

This is the second bill on student mask mandates to be brought up in the General Assembly. State Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware, created a bill to prohibit the state school board, the Ohio Department of Education or individual school districts’ boards of education from mandating mask-wearing.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said this week that children make up 15% of all new COVID-19 cases nationally, causing a strain on pediatric facilities, and making them contagious for unvaccinated and immunocompromised adults.

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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

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