Is the Tide Turning Against Mask Mandates for Schools?

AP Photo/Denis Poroy

We have some indications that the tide could be turning against widespread mask mandates in public schools. On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to announce that he will end the state’s mask mandate for students and staff at schools as of March 7.


Murphy hinted last week that he was considering lifting the regulations when he said, “I look to a time in this school year where we are no longer masking in our schools.”

A noticeable drop in cases of COVID-19 came after the omicron surge earlier this winter.

Last year, the Garden State’s school mask mandate faced legal challenges, but a judge blocked a request for an injunction against the mandate in December. Murphy again renewed the mandate for schools last month “for the foreseeable future,” with no end in sight at the time.

Additionally, Monday is the first day that Illinois schools won’t be bound by a statewide school mask mandate. The judge’s ruling that ended the mandate has led to a patchwork of various regulations throughout the state. Meanwhile, the state’s attorney general is already filing for an emergency stay against the ruling, and Gov. J. B. Pritzker wants to appeal it.

Related: [WATCH] Student Destroys School Board with Withering Speech: ‘Thank You For Teaching Us We Should Never Question Authority’

Does this mean that the tide is turning against masking our kids?

At the parental level, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” My PJ Media colleague Megan Fox has done tremendous work documenting the reaction of parents to New York’s mask mandates, and that’s just one state. Parents in other states are standing up in similar ways.


The real trouble is that too many politicians are beholden to teachers’ unions and go along with the mask mandate advocacy. Many Democrats cling to the notion that masking is going to solve all our kids’ problems. Case in point: Gov. Pritzker of Illinois, who is kicking and screaming against the judge’s ruling against school masking requirements.

“The grave consequence of this misguided decision is that schools in these districts no longer have sufficient tools to keep students and staff safe while COVID-19 continues to threaten our communities – and this may force schools to go remote,” Pritzker said in a statement. “This shows yet again that the mask mandate and school exclusion protocols are essential tools to keep schools open and everyone safe. As we have from the beginning of the pandemic, the administration will keep working to ensure every Illinoisan has the tools needed to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

It’s fascinating that a man who is intelligent enough to be governor of a state is ignorant enough to think that schools can’t remain open without forcing everyone to wear masks. Or does his view on masking stem from being in the pocket of teachers’ unions?

Democrat governors like Phil Murphy give us a glimmer of hope. GOP governors in red states give us courage when they commit to freedom and a sort of federalism that allows local jurisdictions to make their own decisions.


At the outset of the pandemic, when even the experts didn’t really know much about what made COVID spread, we all accepted the idea that we’d have to mask up to prevent outbreaks. Now that we know more and so many of the preventative measures we took initially have proved to be less effective than we thought, we should abandon them.

Enough is enough. It’s time for Americans — especially our schoolchildren — to live normal, free lives again. Let’s let them learn in a more comfortable and comforting environment. Here’s hoping for more leaders to see the light and opt for freedom when it comes to masking our kids.


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