States Banning Mask Mandates Face Civil Rights Probes, On Biden’s Directive

President Biden is ratcheting up opposition to Republican governors blocking COVID mask mandates in schools, putting in charge the Education Department, which is raising the possibility of using its civil rights arm to oppose such policies.

Biden on Wednesday ordered Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to “assess all available tools” that can be used against states that fail to protect students amid surging coronavirus cases.

“Some state governments have adopted policies and laws that interfere with the ability of schools and districts to keep our children safe during in-person learning,” Biden said in an executive order.

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He also said some states “have gone so far as to try to block school officials” from adopting safety measures, including but not exclusive to the mask issue.


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