Emergency order gives Montana students protection against mask mandates

The Montana Department of Public Health today issued a temporary emergency rule that gives students and/or their parents or guardians the ability to opt-out of school mask mandates or other health-related mandates.

This is great news for the “free state of Montana,” as I called it on “War Room” with Steve Bannon. In that appearance, I was promoting Montana’s HB 702, which offers the best protection in the nation for individuals who choose not to be vaccinated against Covid.

(UPDATE: School districts across the state are interpreting the new rule as permission for them to segregate non-vaccinated students into “remote learning” gulags. See my new story here.)

The language of the new emergency order is unequivocal, and notes that “some of the [state’s] responses to the pandemic, including mask mandates, have also imposed additional burdens on citizens, including on their health and well-being.”

Therefore, “The rule directs that, if schools or school districts impose a health-related mandate on students, such as a mask mandate, they should consider, and be able to demonstrate they considered, parental concerns in adopting the mandate, and should provide the ability for students, and/or parents or guardians on behalf of their children, to choose to opt-out based on physical, mental, emotional, or psychosocial health concerns, as well as on the basis of religious belief, moral conviction, or other fundamental right, the impairment of which may negatively impact such students’ physical, mental, emotional, or psychosocial health.”

The logic of this order is indisputable:

“As those best suited and entitled to assess individual needs for the physical, mental, and developmental well-being of their minor children, parents or guardians, in consultation with their children’s health care provider as appropriate, should be afforded the ability to opt-out of mask requirements on behalf of their children.”

The order spells out a number of reasons why mask mandates are not scientifically or medically supported. For instance: “Mask wearing has been shown to cause some children to suffer mental and emotional distress and issues. Mask wearing can also cause or aggravate physical conditions in some children, including interference with breathing related to asthma or other respiratory conditions or infections, or interference with the ability to see classroom boards, screens, papers and desk surfaces, and surrounding safety conditions, especially for students wearing glasses.”

Not surprisingly, the dictatorial school boards in several Montana cities will fight the emergency order. According to the Great Falls Tribune, the Great Falls School District has issued a statement saying it will “continue to enforce face covering guidelines.”

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“Great Falls Public Schools has reviewed the emergency rule issued by the Department of Public Health and Human Services, and the District reads the rule as permissive as it specifically provides that school districts “should consider” parental
concerns and “should provide” an opt-out system for certain reasons. The District has done both. The District will continue to enforce its face covering guidelines to ensure the safety and welfare of all students and staff.”

The Department of Public Health and Human Services continues to promote vaccination, and says it looks forward to the day when vaccines are available for all school age children, but HB 702 makes it clear that no school or employer can demand that individuals be vaccinated in any case.

Way to go, Montana! Stay free!


Heartland Diary is solely operated by Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. My new book is “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends” and is a collection of personal essays that transcend politics. The title says it all. My earlier books in the Heartland Diary series include “How We Got Here: The Left’s Assault on the Constitution,” “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” and the “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website. If you enjoy reading my commentary, I hope you will SUBSCRIBE to www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com by leaving your email address on the home page.

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