Iowa guv Kim Reynolds bans mask mandates in schools, Internet says she ‘wants to kill your children’
In a bid to restore 'individual liberty', the governor signed a late-night bill limiting mask mandates imposed by cities and school districts
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has stripped cities and school districts of the right to chose whether they want to enforce mask mandates or not. A late-night bill signing by the Republican Governor will now limit mask mandates throughout the state, which some fear could adversely affect immunocompromised children.
The bill was passed by the state legislature along party lines late on Wednesday, May 19. Within hours, it was approved and signed into law by Reynolds, going into immediate effect. "The state of Iowa is putting parents back in control of their child’s education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decisions," she said in a statement.
Reyolds added, "I am proud to be a governor of a state that values personal responsibility and individual liberties. I want to thank the Iowa Legislature for their quick work in bringing this bill to my desk so that it can be signed into law." It passed the State House by a 53-35 vote and the Senate by a 29-17 vote. The law was part of a wider bill on education reform, that aimed to expand open enrollment in Iowa.
Masks or no masks?
Earlier this week, school districts across Iowa and the nation began debating the mask mandates, as American begins to return to normalcy. Last week, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the use of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children between 12 and 15. By May 18, nearly 600,000 children across the nation received their first dose, putting America on track to return to pre-pandemic protocols for schools.
In Iowa, as school districts began debating whether or not to enforce masks for in-classroom teaching, Republicans quickly added the mask mandate provision on May 19, according to KCCI. The amendment bans county and city leaders from issuing mask mandates stricter than what the state government has set. The ban also stops principals, superintendents and school boards from implementing mask mandates.
Effectively, Iowa is ending the need for masks in schools, even though many kids haven't got their shots yet. Republicans argued that they are doing this in response to the community. "This is about liberty. In my district alone, numerous parents have had enough and now since this began I have received hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of emails," Rep Steven Holt said. Democrats, on the other hand, argue that such a law could be dangerous. "The people in one school board, in one school district, might have very different needs than in another. So who are we to say what you can and can't do to help your kids stay safe in a community?" said Rep Jennifer Konfrst.
'Kim Reynolds wants to kill your children'
As news of the bill spread, Twitter was quick to denounce the Iowa Governor. "Kim Reynolds has less braincells than the Winnipeg Jets Stanley Cups," one person tweeted. Another said, "Kim Reynolds doesn't care about children, teachers, or anyone but herself and her donors. And she'll still probably win the next election. Get it together, Iowa. Our governor does. not. care. about. us."
Kim Reynolds has less braincells than the Winnipeg Jets Stanley Cups— Samuel IV (@ThatOneLeafsFan) May 20, 2021
Kim Reynolds doesn't care about children, teachers, or anyone but herself and her donors. And she'll still probably win the next election.— Erin Schroeder (@erinbschroeder) May 20, 2021
Get it together, Iowa. Our governor does. not. care. about. us. https://t.co/DQHGZixXgJ
One person tweeted, "Just got an email from my kids school. Iowa law now *prohibits* schools from requiring masks. This is just a flagrant disregard for human life and well being." Another noted, "Kim Reynolds likes to beat the "the stare government shouldn't have local control" drum while controlling local governments."
Just got an email from my kids school. Iowa law now *prohibits* schools from requiring masks. This is just a flagrant disregard for human life and well being.— Lyz Lenz (@lyzl) May 20, 2021
Kim Reynolds likes to beat the "the stare government shouldn't have local control" drum while controlling local governments.— liz, goddess of mischief #SamSZN 🏳️🌈 😷 (@lizsicle) May 20, 2021
"It’s kinda shitty the way Kim Reynolds signed a law at 1am saying that schools can’t require masks anymore" noted one user. Another said, "Kim Reynolds wants to kill your children but I guess Iowans are OK with that."
It’s kinda shitty the way Kim Reynolds signed a law at 1am saying that schools can’t require masks anymore 😬— Kim💘 (@_callmebeepme_) May 20, 2021
Kim Reynolds wants to kill your children but I guess Iowans are OK with that. https://t.co/0G66qM2bW7— Wen War (@wenwar69) May 20, 2021
Following the overnight bill signing, many school districts have sent emails to parents saying masks would now be optional. It is now up to the family to decide if their children should be wearing masks, even if they haven't been vaccinated and are at risk.