Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) on Tuesday announced that schools in the state will need to consider “parental concerns” when deciding whether students will be required to wear masks for in-person learning, after several schools in the state issued mask mandates.
Gianforte said that parents should be afforded the opportunity to decide if masking is necessary for their children, according to The Associated Press.
His new rules come just one day after the Department of Education launched civil rights probes into Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah over their school mask mandate bans.
Under the new rules, Montana parents will be able to have their children opt out of mask mandates based on moral convictions, religious beliefs, developmental needs and physical and mental health, the AP reported.
Gianforte on Tuesday claimed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation on masking in schools is “based on inconclusive research" and stated that mandated masking could negatively influence a child's “health, wellbeing and development," according to the AP.