Atlanta, GA –Governor Brian P. Kemp's floor leader Senator Clint Dixon (R - Gwinnett) today will introduce the "Unmask Georgia Students Act," empowering parents of public school students with the right to choose whether their child must wear a mask while on school grounds.
"Parents know how best to care for their children, and that includes when it comes masking," said Governor Kemp. "While some districts continue to ignore the science and force their students to remain masked throughout the school day, the 'Unmask Georgia Students Act' ensures parents have the final say. As we enter the third year of facing COVID-19, it is past time for a return to normal and for decisions regarding protection against the virus to be made by individual Georgians and their families - not the government."
Once enacted, the legislation would ensure that no local board of education, superintendent, or personnel of public and state charter schools could impose any rule requiring students wear a face mask or covering without an opt-out choice for parents. The "Unmask Georgia Students Act" would also prevent schools and educators from penalizing a student, academically or otherwise, as a result of the parent's decision.
"I'm grateful to be working alongside the governor yet again to fight for the wellbeing of students and to uphold the rights of their parents," said Senator Dixon. "The 'Unmask Georgia Students Act' reaffirms what has always been true -- parents are the best decision makers when it comes to the health and education of their children. This legislation ensures that those rights are not infringed on by misguided policies."
Roughly 45 school districts in Georgia have one or more schools that are still imposing mask mandates on students. At least nine school districts have 10 or more schools still imposing mask mandates. A copy of SB 514 can be found here.