It’s time to rip the mask off school mask mandate like a band-aid, legislators say

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Woman having band-aid removed, Stock Photo

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Ocean County’s representatives in the state legislator today are calling for Murphy to stop the school mask charade and end the mandates today, not in 30 days.

Governor Murphy announced he is almost ready to eliminate his mask mandate for schools a month from now and Senator Jim Holzapfel and John Catalano said that’s not soon enough.

“This is just more foot-dragging by the Administration. It is impossible to fathom the Governor’s reluctance to free school kids from the masks immediately,” said Senator Holzapfel. “Why the delay for another month. Stop playing around. It has been a year and a half, and residents don’t want to wait until March 7 to get their parental rights back. Give it back now!”

Murphy’s mask announcement on Monday came on the same day he revealed his intention to extend his latest public health emergency declaration for 30 more days.

The 10th District lawmakers have long opposed the mask mandates and advocated for the restoration of parental rights. They sponsor legislation (S-126/A-1632) that prohibits requiring students to wear face masks in schools and on school buses. Initially introduced last summer (as S-3879/A-5830 in the previous legislative session), the bill would make mask-wearing optional at the discretion of the student’s parent.

Related: Toms River Council changes meeting date to accommodate no-show attorney McGuckin, same time as school board meetings

“This has gone on for far too long,” said Assemblyman Catalano. “We have reached the point of diminishing returns, and the Governor should understand his reign as health dictator has run its course. He has taken too much from New Jersey residents and it’s time to give it back.”