NEW JERSEY – Senator Michael Testa will introduce legislation to allow parents to create a path to choose a different school district if their home district unilaterally adopts a mask policy for students.
Over the weekend, the Franklin Township school district in Somerset County announced via a pop up on their website that a mandatory masking policy would be reintroduced Monday.
“Sadly, we expected school bureaucrats to once again push their power over students and their parents with renewed masking mandates,” said Testa (R-1). “This bill gives parents the ability to fight back and the power to ensure their children are not forced to mask up.”
Under the bill parents could create an educational savings account which could then be used to allow their schoolchildren to attend a school in a district that does not mandate masks on students. The costs of creating those accounts would be borne by the school district which imposed the mask mandate.
The effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID in schoolchildren has been questioned by scientists around the globe since the very beginning of the pandemic. A 2021 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) covered more than 90,000 elementary-school students in 169 Georgia schools and found that forcing students to wear masks “lacks a well-grounded scientific justification,” Testa said.
More recently, researchers in Spain conducted a study of 600,000 children ages 3 to 11. They found that children ages 3 to 4 had lower rates of transmission and infection compared to kids between the ages of 6 and 11. In addition, the number of COVID cases – even with mask mandates in place – was found to be higher in 6-year-olds compared to 5-year-olds, Testa said.
“Masks don’t seem to affect medical outcomes and serve only to make some adults feel they are doing something to protect students. Kids shouldn’t suffer to make adults feel better. My bill restores parental control to local education,” Testa said.