DES MOINES, IOWA — On Wednesday, a group of parents, teachers, and doctors gathered outside of the state capitol to speak out against Governor Kim Reynolds’ ban on masks in schools.
“Rescind this ban on science and use the tools at our disposal to keep our kids safe,” said Megan Srinivas, MD MPH, the keynote speaker at the event.
Currently, COVID-19 cases in Iowa have spiked due to the spread of the Delta variant.
Iowa City At-Large Councilmember, Janice Weiner, traveled from Johnson County to attend the event.
“I really want to ask the governor to do what the president suggested, which you did last year. Would you please get out of the way? Let us, as locally elected officials do our jobs and protect our residents.”
Meanwhile, parents want the mask ban lifted so their kids will be safe in school.
“It’s crucial for kids like mine to [attend] in-person school, but I should not have to choose between her literacy and her safety,” said parent Tanya Keith.
“The best thing that we can do for our kids right now to keep them safe before they can get vaccines is to have them wear a mask in their classrooms,” said Jesse Richardson-Jones, a parent of two elementary school-aged children.
“We need a universal mask mandate for kids who can’t get vaccinated right now. Kids under 12.”
Organizers laid out shoes at the event to represent Iowa educators who have died from COVID.