Controversial school masking bill passes out of GOP dominated Education Committee
Legislation that would not allow schools to require masks or any type of face coverings has cleared a House Education Committee. WUKY’s Karyn Czar reports.
HB 51 would put the decision of masking at every school level in the hands of parents and individuals. Representative Lynn Bechler says he sponsored the bill because he believes the use of masks has increased the suicide rate among adolescents and stunted learning.
Representative Attica Scott who opposes the bill believes universal masking helps keep students in the classrooms and had a testy exchange with Bechler.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle raised concerns that HB 51 removes local control, something that many had fought for last fall. During a special session, the Governor’s ability to mandate any COVID restrictions was removed so school boards and businesses could make their own choices. That included universal masking.
With some reluctant yes votes, the bill did move forward.