Media Contact

Cindy Garcia, ACLU of Iowa Communications Manager

September 14, 2021

A federal district court yesterday blocked Iowa’s law prohibiting schools from requiring masks. The court ruled that the law is likely to violate the civil rights of children with disabilities, including children with underlying conditions, who are more vulnerable to severe illness or death as a result of COVID-19. However, some school officials have been making statements questioning whether this decision requires that face masks be worn in school buildings and we wanted to clarify that compliance with the ADA and Rehabilitation Act is mandatory.

The following statement can be attributed to ACLU of Iowa Legal Director Rita Bettis Austen:

"Now that HF847 is blocked, schools must not delay in providing for universal masking in order to meet the needs of kids in their district who have disabilities, including underlying conditions, making them vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19, in accordance with federal law."