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Oklahoma Democrats working to repeal bill that bans mask mandates

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Masks are a trending topic as schools are getting ready to start back in a couple of weeks.

Democratic State Representatives are trying to get Governor Kevin Stitt to call a special session to repeal a bill than stops schools from requiring masks.

Analilia Aguilera has two kids returning to school in a couple of weeks, and she feels as if everyone should have the choice to wear a mask or not.

“Every kid has their own medical issues, and every kid is more sensitive and immune to certain things. That’s between the parent’s discretion to send their with a mask or not. With my kids, I can only speak for my kids. I’m comfortable with them going to school without the mask,” Aguilera said.

Under Senate Bill 658, schools cannot require students to wear masks unless Governor Kevin Stitt declares a state of emergency.

However, State Representative Cyndi Munson said that shouldn’t be the only reason for a mask mandate and shared her thoughts on why the bill should be repealed.

“Earlier this year when we had the discussion around Senate Bill 658, the concerns that we brought up were around taking away decision-making power from local school boards who are elected by their local community. Who have local data and hear the concerns of those who are closet to them,” Munson said.

Another reason she said school officials should call the shots is because of the age restrictions on the vaccine.

“Since children under the age of 12 can not get the vaccine. The best thing we can do to keep our children safe is to wear mask and for students to wear masks while their in the classrooms, you know sitting close together at their desk, interacting with each other during the school day,” Munson said.

Though school is already underway for some schools, Munson said she hopes something can be resolved.

“If the governor makes the decision to not act as COVID cases are rising and more and more folks are getting hospitalized, and unfortunately passing away from this virus. Those of us in the legislative who are elected to represent our constituents across the state must act and that’s why are asking for the language in Senate Bill 658 to be repealed, so we don’t have to wait for the governor to make that decision,” Munson said.

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