Schlossberg supports statewide school mask requirement

HARRISBURG, Aug. 31 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Wolf administration of statewide school mask requirements.

“Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced mandatory masking requirements in Pennsylvania’s schools and early childhood learning centers. I completely support this announcement and applaud the governor’s leadership. Every school leader has the same goal this year: 180 days of in-person learning. Masks help achieve that goal.

“Masking requirements are already in effect in the school settings I am fortunate to represent. The Allentown School District, Parkland School District, Allentown Diocese and Jewish Day School announced such requirements as part of their back-to-school plans. For students in these districts, there is no change. Given the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases over the latter half of summer, and the fact that many students are not able to be vaccinated, such a requirement makes perfectly logical sense,” said Schlossberg, D-Lehigh.

“For my colleagues who oppose this measure: you lobbied for a stronger role in how Pennsylvania makes public health decisions during a pandemic. The governor explicitly asked us to end summer recess early and have a conversation on this topic. The majority leadership declined to even bring us back from summer recess. The governor was forced to act.

“Until we see vaccines available for children under age 12, greater vaccination rates for people over the age of 12 and a reduction in transmission of COVID-19 in our community, masking offers the greatest protection against spread we have available.

“For the past month, school boards have been an unnecessary venue for conflict about masking policies during this pandemic. Loud and obnoxious antics from a distinct minority of people is not democracy. This is the behavior of school yard bullies. When recent public opinion polling shows that approximately 60% support these protections for our kids, and less than 30% oppose them, this does not even warrant the coverage it has received.

“Last week, I offered deeper thoughts about the need for mask mandates in an Op-Ed published by The Morning Call. To get a deeper understanding of my thoughts, I encourage anybody to read it and share it wide. It is available here.”