Des Moines Register |August 19, 2021


"With less than a week until many Iowa students return to the classroom, families, teachers and school leaders are caught in a political tug of war between the Democratic Biden administration and the state's Republican leadership over mask requirements in classrooms. 

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday afternoon that the U.S. Department of Education could use its oversight powers to take potential legal action against Iowa and a handful of other states that have banned schools from requiring students and teachers to wear masks.

But Gov. Kim Reynolds defended the state's law prohibiting local mask mandates and pledged to fight it in court, if necessary. Biden, she told reporters at a news conference, is 'kowtowing to the teachers union' and should turn his focus to immigration issues and getting American citizens out of Afghanistan. 

'I'm doing my job,' she said. 'He needs to do his job.'


Reynolds on Thursday described the Biden administration's efforts to allow mask requirements as "a disservice," partly because of the impact masks have on students' social and emotional well-being.

'Come walk the fairgrounds with me for just a day, and I want you to see the number of moms and dads and teachers and children — they literally have tears in their eyes — tears — when they come up to me and say, 'Thank you. Thank you for getting my kids back in school. Thank you for not masking them up,' Reynolds said.'

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