The Covid Civil Rights Mask - WSJ

The Office of Civil Rights in Education is a branch of state administration that has often fueled cultural wars over the past decade. So...


The Office of Civil Rights in Education is a branch of state administration that has often fueled cultural wars over the past decade. So it was only a matter of time before he threw himself into America’s latest bitter cultural conflict on the progressive side. On Monday, the agency targeted states that have limited the ability of local school districts to require students to wear masks.

“I am writing to inform you that the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education is opening a directed investigation into whether the Tennessee Department of Education can prevent school districts in the state to take into account or meet the needs of students with disabilities, “says the letter of the agency. The letter was also sent to education authorities in Utah, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Iowa.

The OCR has the power to revoke federal funding for institutions it deems to violate civil rights law. A 1973 federal law prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities. Because people with certain disabilities are at greater risk if infected with the coronavirus, the OCR implies that states that restrict mask mandates are violating students’ civil rights.

What a contortion of the law. Far from being a matter of civil rights, the wisdom of mask mandates, like all Covid mitigation measures, is an empirical and political debate. Certainly, no one would suggest that anti-mask policies are based on animosity towards students with disabilities. Most of the data suggests that the danger of the coronavirus in children is comparable to that of the influenza virus, although the jury is still out on children and the more contagious Delta variant.

The OCR letter to states notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masking for students “2 years of age and older.” Still, this measure is not free: Last year, Susan Hopkins, a senior UK public health official, advised against masking young children because “it’s really important that they can see the expressions facial expressions in order to develop their communication and language skills ”.

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Newsrust - US Top News: The Covid Civil Rights Mask - WSJ
The Covid Civil Rights Mask - WSJ
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