At a time when most K-12 students were in bed, Gov. Kim Reynolds passed a mask order late Thursday that said schools couldn’t require students or staff to wear them.
Never mind that it was far too late for parents to prep or even know the shift had occurred. Reynolds wanted to make a point – why, we don’t know – and did it at the worst possible time.
With just days left in most school years and the start of vaccinations for teenagers, it seems like nothing more than a grab for attention designed to land time on the morning cable news shows.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already recommended that schools use masks for the rest of the year and has urged those who aren’t vaccinated to continue to wear them. So why was Reynolds so eager to take a midnight run at something that didn’t need last-minute fixing?
“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 decision,” she said.
But is it?
More than most groups, Iowa students have been good about wearing masks and following guidelines. During the past year, they’ve even engaged in activities wearing masks and they’ve excelled. Concerts, sporting events, plays and assemblies took place – just as classes did – with others’ safety in mind.
Of course, those who somehow believe their rights are being denied have done everything short of a sit-down strike to get others to join them in taunting mask wearers, arguing with store owners and yelling at anyone who believes an ounce of prevention could be the gateway to a cure.
Considering she has embraced other offbeat causes this year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Reynolds wanted to make a statement before the buzzer ran out.
Schools could have ended and the mask mandates could have disappeared. But, in that midnight hour, she took a stand that was unnecessary.
If she had made an attempt to get all students vaccinated before school ended, there might have been reason to drop the masks.
Now, it just seems like another stunt.