A federal judge struck down an Iowa law that banned mask mandates in schools on Monday. The state intends to appeal the decision.
“Today, a federal judge unilaterally overturned a state law, ignored the decision by our elected legislature, and took away parents’ ability to decide what’s best for their child,” the Office of the Governor said in a statement.
The law, which was passed in May, significantly increases the risk of catching COVID-19 for children with health conditions, Judge Robert Pratt said. The judge said he reviewed the effectiveness of masks and their ability to reduce the spread of the virus when making his decision. In addition, he agrees with mask recommendations set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The decision resulted from a lawsuit brought against the state by parents of several students with disabilities. They argued that their children were denied equal access to education without a mask mandate in class since they are considered at higher risk of contracting coronavirus.