The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Federal appeals court upholds Reynolds’ ban on mask mandates in schools

Reynolds boasted Iowa’s push to open schools during the pandemic.
Iowa+Gov.+Kim+Reynolds+endorses+republican+presidential+candidate+and+Gov.+Ron+DeSantis+during+the+99th+County+Rally+at+the+Thunderdome+in+Newton%2C+Iowa%2C+on+Saturday%2C+Dec.+2%2C+2023.+Republican+presidential+candidate+and+Florida+Gov.+Ron+DeSantis%E2%80%99+99th+stop+in+Jasper+County+rounds+out+the+%E2%80%9Cfull+Grassley.%E2%80%9D
Shaely Odean
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds endorses republican presidential candidate and Gov. Ron DeSantis during the 99th County Rally at the Thunderdome in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 99th stop in Jasper County rounds out the “full Grassley.”

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ ban on mask mandates in schools on Tuesday after a lengthy legal battle where parents and disability rights advocates argued it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Reynolds signed House File 847 into law in May 2021, which banned school boards and superintendents from mandating masks for students, staff, or visitors on school property. The bill also prohibited Iowa counties, cities, and property owners from requiring masks on city and private property.

Following the signing of HF 847, a group of parents, the ARC of Iowa, and the ACLU filed a lawsuit stating that the law violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and a preliminary injunction was put on the law.

The injunction was appealed by Reynolds and Ann Lebo, the then Director of the Iowa Department of Education. In January 2022, a United States Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the preliminary injunction was too broad.

Following the appellate court’s decision to uphold the ban on mask mandates, Reynolds boasted about the state’s push to bring students back to school during the pandemic in a news release.

“While children were the least vulnerable, they paid the highest price for COVID lockdowns and mandates, but Iowa was a different story,” Reynolds said in a news release. “Iowa was the first state to get students back in the classroom and we prohibited mask mandates in schools, trusting parents to decide what was best for their children.”

Iowa Republican Attorney General Brenna Bird said “Freedom won” in a news release following the decision.

“Parents have the right to choose what healthcare decisions are best for their kids,” Bird said. “As Attorney General, I support Iowans’ rights and freedoms and will continue fighting to defend them.”

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About the Contributors
Natalie Miller, Politics Reporter
(she/her)
Natalie Miller is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to her position as a Politics Reporter, Natalie was a News Reporter focusing on Higher Education.
Shaely Odean, Photojournalist
(she/her/hers)
Shaely Odean is a transfer student at the University of Iowa, currently in her third year. She is pursuing double majors in Journalism and Strategic Communications, as well as Sustainability Sciences. Shaely works as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan, and her passion lies in environmental issues. Before joining the University of Iowa, she attended Kirkwood Community College, where she served as the photo editor for the Kirkwood Communique.