Rep. Bennett: Governor’s School Mask Mandate Usurps Parental/Local Control

Governor Pritzker’s new executive order imposing a statewide mandatory mask mandate for all Illinois schoolchildren usurps the rights of parents, and local school officials, state Representative Tom Bennett said today.

The Governor’s new order, announced Wednesday, mandates that masks be worn indoors at all times in all Illinois public and private schools and day care settings.  Students from pre-school through 12th grade will be required to wear masks, including while participating in indoor sports events.

“COVID is real, and we need to be concerned about it. However, once again, Governor Pritzker is imposing one-size-fits-all mandates on our very diverse state. Last year’s statewide lockdowns and other mandates made it very clear that what works in some Illinois communities is actually counter-productive in others,” said Representative Bennett (R-Pontiac). “Governor Pritzker is dictating orders without input from legislators, local elected officials, or the families themselves whose lives he’s impacting. What’s worse, he is taking away parents’ right to make healthcare decisions for their children as young as pre-school age. This Governor needs to stop dictating and start leading.”

Rep. Bennett added that in announcing the new mandates Wednesday, Governor Pritzker did not specify how long he intends to keep them in place.

“Parents, along with local school boards and administrators need to make decisions about what protections need to be in place in local classrooms-period,” Rep. Bennett said. “I have no doubt that these latest mandates will be challenged. The Governor said Wednesday that he’s confident he has the legal authority to impose his will, but he needs to be more concerned about what is the right thing to do for all Illinois families.”

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