Betrayal: Montana students NOT protected from mask mandates after all!

Yesterday, I celebrated a temporary emergency rule in Montana that gives students and/or their parents or guardians the ability to opt-out of school mask mandates or other health-related mandates.

Not so fast! Both me and the AP have been forced to issue corrections. Turns out the plain language and intent of the law have been stood on their head.

School districts around the state are claiming they can just ignore the emergency rule because it is “permissive.” It gives freedom to the schools to provide an alternative to families that object to masks. And unfortunately that alternative is sending students home to study in isolation and without participation in the social life and extracurriculars that are so vital to education.

This completely violates the intent of the emergency rule to lessen the burden on parents and guardians of the pandemic-based changes in schools.

The emergency rule notes that “Mask wearing has been shown to cause some children to suffer mental and emotional distress and issues.” Do these school districts not realize that forcing students into isolation will also causes children to suffer mental and emotional distress?

Remote learning is not a solution; it is just an additional burden placed on parents and students who want to take responsibility for their own medical choices.

I don’t know if either Gov. Greg Gianforte or the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services knew that this would be the outcome of their “emergency rule,” but it certainly has the effect of diminishing our faith in government. Apparently even the “free state of Montana” is in a constant battle against tyranny.


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 by leaving your email address on the home page.

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