COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– An Ohio state representative will introduce legislation in the latest push to stop schools from requiring students to wear masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta) is seeking cosponsors for his bill. The bill only applies to students. It will not prohibit faculty, staff and guests from wearing masks or from the school imposing a mandate on them.
“With our children returning to the classroom shortly, based off of the outcry I’ve heard from constituents I believe this is a decision that should remain optional and up to the discretion of parents on whether their child needs to wear a mask – not a mandate from schools receiving public taxpayer funds,” said Loychik, a first-term representative from Trumbull County.
Last month, State Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) introduced Senate Bill 209. It would prevent the State Board of Education, the Ohio Department of Education and school districts from mandatory face coverings in classrooms.
In its latest guidance, the Centers for Disease Control recommends universal indoor masking for all students, ages 2 and older, as well as staff, teachers and visitors to K-12. That’s regardless of vaccination status.