South Carolina Ban on Mask Mandates Blocked by Federal Judge

(Sept 29): South Carolina’s ban on mask mandates in schools was blocked by a federal judge who said the benefits of masking significantly exceed the cost.

A provision in South Carolina’s budget prohibited schools from requiring students to wear masks. Nine parents of children with disabilities and groups representing the disabled sued claiming the ban on mask mandates effectively excludes students with disabilities and those with underlying medical conditions from attending school, in violation of federal disability rights laws.

U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis agreed with the parents.

“The question is quite simple: whether the court will allow defendants to continue to discriminate against the minor plaintiffs here based on their disabilities,” she wrote. “The answer is, of course, a resounding “No!”

The case is Disability Rights South Carolina v. McMaster, 3:21-cv-02728, U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina (Columbia Division).


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