he ACLU on Tuesday announced it is bringing a lawsuit against South Carolina over its mask policy.
The Palmetto State is one of seven states—along with Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, and Florida— that have policies in place banning schools from having mask policies. Thirteen states, meanwhile, have laws that mandate masks in schools. The majority of states (30) allow school districts to determine their own mask policies.
“We’re suing to end South Carolina’s ban on mask requirements in schools, with Disability Rights South Carolina, Able South Carolina, and parents,” the ACLU said. “Students with disabilities are effectively being excluded from public schools because of this ban. Courts must intervene.”
The ACLU’s action is the latest salvo in a battle over a question that divides America: should schools be able to compel children to wear face coverings in school?
New Science on Masks
With fall approaching, many Americans are wondering whether they should send their children to school with a mask—or if they’ll even have a choice.
A recent New York magazine article states that the science on masks “remains uncertain,” but noted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May published a large-scale study of COVID transmission in US schools.
The study, which analyzed some 90,000 elementary students in 169 Georgia schools from November 16 to December 11, found that there was no statistically significant difference in schools that required students to wear masks compared to schools where masks were optional.
“The 21% lower incidence in schools that required mask use among students was not statistically significant compared with schools where mask use was optional,” the CDC said. “This finding might be attributed to higher effectiveness of masks among adults, who are at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection but might also result from differences in mask-wearing behavior among students in schools with optional requirements.”
As New York magazine’s David Zweig noted, these findings, as well as other statistically insignificant preventive measures, “cast doubt on the impact of many of the most common mitigation measures in American schools.”
The CDC’s findings on masks and other preventive measures would not be particularly