Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-01) today called for consideration of her Unmask Our Kids Act, legislation that will ensure parents have the option to send their kids to school in-person and decide whether or not their child wears a mask at school.
“I rise today to stand up for students, and for parents’ ability to make decisions for their own kids.
“Across the country, children are struggling. Despite being nearly two full years into the pandemic, tens of thousands of students started off this year still being forced to learn behind a screen, cut off from their peers.
“And many school districts are mandating masks for children of all ages, against their parents’ wishes.
“Parents should have the option to send their kids to school in person, and to decide whether they want their kids to wear a mask at school.
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Reynolds and our hardworking teachers in Iowa, parents have had the option to send their kids back to class, in-person, for over a year.
“And Governor Reynolds stood up for families by banning school mask mandates and allowing parents to make this personal health decision for their own children.
“That’s at the heart of this issue—parents should be empowered to make the choices that impact their children’s physical and mental health, their development, and their future.
“As a mom, I know why parents across the country are standing up and speaking out when they are being told they can’t decide what is right for their kids and family.
“And it is infuriating to watch the same people who push for kids to wear masks all day long flout the rules for a photo-op or for a night on the town.
“Meanwhile, kids are sitting at home instead of going to school and interacting with their friends in a normal setting.
“That’s why I introduced the Unmask Our Kids Act.
“My bill would condition federal education dollars to schools on those schools doing two things.
“One: schools cannot receive these federal dollars if they enact wide-reaching mask mandates. They have to allow parents to decide whether their child will wear a mask at school.
“And two: schools have to offer an in-person learning option.
“Our kids deserve normalcy. They deserve a chance to learn in-person and to play with their friends at recess.
“This is about giving parents a voice and the final say when it comes to personal health decisions that impact their family.
“This is about giving school-aged kids, who have endured so much over the last two years, a chance to finally just be kids.
“The next generation is too important not to fight for. When it comes to our children, and their well-being, we will not cave.
“Let’s put politics aside and put kids first. We should pass the Unmask Our Kids Act today. Thank you, and I yield back.”