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Conservative groups roll out ad hitting Democrats over masks, school closures

Associated Press/LM Otero

The conservative groups State Government Leadership Foundation (SGLF) and N2America released an ad Thursday morning tying Democrats to school closures and mask requirements for students in the classroom, part of a six-figure national campaign launched last year. 

The 30-second ad, titled “Childhood,” shows various clips of children watching adults attend crowded and maskless gatherings juxtaposed with masked children sitting in socially distanced classrooms. 

“They see the excitement. They see the joy. They see what they are missing. Democrats are putting kids last. Teachers’ unions are putting kids last. Tell them to give kids their childhood back,” text on the screen reads. 

The spot, which was first seen by The Hill, is the third ad in the groups’ “Let Kids Learn” national campaign. It will air in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington, D.C., on major television programs such as “Good Morning America” and “The View,” according to the groups. 

“If Democrats really cared about students then they would stop allowing the teachers’ unions to use the pandemic as an excuse to fundamentally transform the public education system for the worst and start reversing the damage they have already caused to an entire generation,” SGLF Executive Director Dee Duncan said in a statement. 

The ad comes as political battles over school closures and mask mandates continue across the country.

Hours after being sworn in to office, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) signed an executive order that gives parents the ability to elect for their children not to be subject to mask requirements in Virginia public schools. The order marked a departure from the mask mandate implemented by his predecessor, Democrat Ralph Northam.

Seven Virginia school boards have filed suit against Youngkin’s executive order. Additionally, a group of parents of children with disabilities represented by the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit against the order on Tuesday. 

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