Governor, Teacher’s Union and School Districts Battle Over Mask Mandates

Morristown Minute
Morristown Minute

NJ State Legislature to decide this week if Gov. Murphy’s mask mandate for schools will remain in place.

Under Governor Murphy’s executive order, students and teachers must wear masks in schools. However, the New Jersey State Legislature in Trenton will decide this week if the governor’s mask mandate for schools will remain in place.

Some school districts have pushed for an end to the mask mandate. Point Pleasant, Tom’s River, and Central Regional are included among the districts pushing to end mask mandates in schools. Some district leaders even wrote letters to Governor Murphy arguing for an end to the mandate.

If the mask mandate goes away, it will be left to the individual school districts to determine the masking policy within their schools.

As the battle around mask mandates continues, meanwhile many NJ schools have been forced to go remote due to rising infection rates.

The NJ teacher’s union, the New Jersey Education Association, called the move to end school mask mandates “educational malpractice.”

Murphy may decide in the coming days to declare a new public health emergency to extend his pandemic powers. Currently, lawmakers have agreed to extend many of his pandemic-related mandates until January 11th.

Fourteen of the governor’s executive orders remain in effect, expiring January 11th. These include vaccine oversights, data collection from healthcare providers, mask mandates, and vaccination mandates for healthcare workers as a condition of their employment.

Governor Murphy previously stated that he has no intention of imposing new mask mandates, instead choosing to focus his resources on pushing for vaccinations and boosters.

The battle over mask mandates in schools continues in the backdrop of rising infection rates in schools and daily infection records for the state of New Jersey.


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