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New Bill Would Give Parents Veto Power on Masks in Schools

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Senator Edward Durr has introduced legislation that would require schools in New Jersey to obtain approval from parents before mandating that children utilize “medical devices” such as masks.

“For nearly two years, New Jersey schools have been subject to the Governor’s dictatorial-style masking orders that blatantly ignore the legislative process and, by extension, the will of the people. This is why now, more than ever before, we need to give parents a greater voice in determining the policies that affect the lives of their children,” said Durr (R-3). “My legislation will leave the decision on whether children should wear masks up to their parents, not Governor Murphy. It’s time to rein in the Governor and restore power to the elected representatives in the Legislature, as intended by our constitution.”

The FDA classifies masks as medical devices, and under Durr’s legislation, no minor would be required to utilize a medical device without the informed consent of a parent or guardian. This would effectively make masks optional in schools throughout New Jersey.

Durr’s legislation was introduced only days after a State Supreme Court Judge struck down Governor Kathy Hochul’s school mask mandate in New York. The mandate was ruled to be unlawful because it was not approved by the State Legislature.

similar ruling occurred in Pennsylvania on December 10, 2021, when the Democratic-majority State Supreme Court ruled 6-0 to end the school mask mandate.

“School boards in my district, and throughout the state, have been hearing from concerned parents in public meetings for months, yet their opinions have been tossed aside in the decision making process,” added Durr. “This mask mandate is a step backwards when we need to be moving forward. The Governor should allow parents to do their job and care for their own children.”

Governor Murphy’s executive powers, granted by legislation passed in June 2020, were set to expire on January 11, 2022 unless extended by the Legislature. On January 10, during the final Senate and Assembly sessions before reorganization, the Legislature chose not to extend those powers. Shortly thereafter, the Governor reinstated the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency to retain his executive powers.

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