Mandatory Masks and Social Distancing for Many Students in the Fall Semester

In May, Ron Paul warned in an editorial about the United States government pushing for the imposing of mask and social distancing mandates on children in schools that reopen for the fall semester, all in the name of countering the often over-hyped threat from coronavirus.

Paul wrote:

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did its part to encourage homeschooling when it unveiled “guidelines” for schools to follow when they reopen. Among the CDC’s guidelines are that schools put tape on the hallways, directing children which direction to walk and how much distance to keep between themselves and their classmates. The CDC also recommends children do not share electronic devices or learning aids. The guidelines even say children should wear masks at school.

The CDC’s guidelines instruct schools to close playgrounds and cafeterias, and to cancel all field trips and assemblies. Instead, students are to spend all day at their desks, not even leaving classrooms for lunch or recess.

The CDC’s guidelines may not have the force of law, but it is likely most government schools will adopt them in order to ensure continued access to federal funding. Schools will do this even though children are at a very low risk of being seriously harmed by coronavirus. In fact, by forbidding children from going outside to play, exercise, and get sunshine, the guidelines actually endanger children’s health. The guidelines also harm children by limiting their ability to interact with their fellow students and develop social skills.

Now, two months later and about a month before many schools would normally open for the fall semester, some schools across the country are announcing plans to start the fall semester with mandates like these imposed on students. Other schools are announcing that they will operate only via the internet.

In contrast, the board or education of large population Orange County, California, on Monday voted its support for children returning to school with neither social distancing nor mask requirements. Hopefully, this is a course that will be followed in many schools across the country.

Yet, even the Orange County Board of Education’s vote does not guarantee that students in the county will be saved from draconian social distancing and mask mandates. Roxana Kopetman relates at The Orange County Register: “The board has no power to direct any of Orange County’s 27 school districts to follow its guidelines, which are in direct opposition to those issued by the Orange County Department of Education, state public health officials and others.”

Confronted with local government schools using coronavirus as a reason to ensure school is intolerable, many parents are looking for alternatives for their children, from homeschooling to private schools that adhere to the “old normal” to online schools that have proven they can deliver.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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