The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation into Iowa’s ban on mask mandates in schools.
The federal agency has sent notices to Iowa and four other states that forbid schools from requiring students and staff wear face coverings. According to a news release, the investigation will explore whether students with disabilities who are at heightened risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are prevented from safely attending school in-person.
The U.S. Secretary of Education says the department is hearing from parents of students with disabilities and he says it’s unacceptable that state leaders are putting politics over the health and education of those students. The agency says schools have a legal obligation not to discriminate against students with disabilities.