Some Iowa schools uncertain about mask mandate policies

By Radio Iowa staff
Some Iowa school officials are wrestling with the decision about whether to require face masks be worn in school buildings.

Yesterday, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction barring enforcement of the law that prevents mask mandates in Iowa schools. Last night, Newton Superintendent Tom Messinger addressed the issue during the district’s school board meeting.

“That doesn’t mean just automatically that masks are a sure go again,” he said. “…There’s a lot of things that come into place. We’re a long ways from knowing anything final.”

Messinger said the district’s legal counsel advises there’s some question that if the State of Iowa appeals the ruling and it’s quickly overturned, the state law barring mask mandates might go back into effect.

Cedar Rapids Superintendent Noreen Bush said her team is still assessing the ruling and trying to address concerns for kids under 12 who can’t be vaccinated and those with health conditions that put them at risk of getting seriously ill from Covid.

“We absolutely want to keep the safety of all paramount and know that those vulnerable populations will be our first conversation,” Bush told the Cedar Rapids School Board last night. “but also what our data tells us as a school district.”

The Iowa City School Board is scheduled to discuss a proposed mask mandate tonight. The superintendent of Des Moines schools announced late Monday that all students, staff and visitors will be required to wear face coverings starting tomorrow,