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On Friday, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court decided to revoke statewide mask mandates imposed on childcare facilities and schools by Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam.
Beam reinstituted the mandates for schools back in August, prompting parents and Republican officials to file a lawsuit in opposition to the stringent measure meant to keep kids masked up, without any autonomy granted to individual institutions.
Friday’s decision blocked alleged “overreach” from Beam and state officials keen on keeping the COVID-19 restrictions as school districts will revert to having the independent choice of implementing masks for children. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will grant all in-state schools and childcare centers the freedom to require or forego PPE at their establishments.
The lawsuit from indignant parents in Pennsylvania applied pressure on health secretary Beam, arguing that she did not have the inherent authority to impose mask mandates on schools and stepping outside the framework of what is constitutionally permitted.
In November, the opposition to Beam’s mandates passed through the Commonwealth Court and was presented to the state’s Supreme Court this last Wednesday. According to the Fox-43 report, “The legality of the order requiring masks in K-12 schools and child care facilities went before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court earlier this week, as the two sides argued their respective positions before the justices Wednesday in Philadelphia.”
Ultimately the courts decided to give this W to proponents of personal freedoms.
A supporter of the masking mandate was Democratic Gov. Wolf, who released a statement via his spokesperson responding to Friday’s impactful decision.
“The administration recognizes that many school districts want to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff, and we are hopeful they will make appropriate mitigation decisions moving forward,” said Wolf’s spokesperson.
Republican Senator Doug Mastriano spoke on the effectiveness of fighting back against continued mask mandates, especially those assigned to children, nearly two years since the start of the pandemic.
“The culture of fear is being used to divide instead of allowing facts and science to be a guide for parents and families to make decisions in the best interest of their children,” Sen. Mastriano said.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela