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Politics & Government

State Senate passes bills to ban vaccine, mask mandates in schools

Michigan State Capitol Building
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio

The GOP-led Michigan Senate voted along party lines on Tuesday to stop schools from imposing vaccine and mask requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Senator Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) said mask and vaccine rules for kids are government overreach.

“That's why we need legislation that protects and defines clearly, draws a line in the sand, and says these are our rights as parents that the government cannot cross,” he said.

Michigan schools already require many vaccines at enrollment and a process exists for vaccine exemptions.

State Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) said the science shows masks and vaccines reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“Let me hit you with some facts. Some top headlines: 'schools without mask mandates more likely to have COVID outbreak, study says.' 'CDC: COVID outbreaks far higher at schools without mask mandates.' 'More outbreaks infecting more students at Michigan schools.' That's just the top three just from a simple Google search,” she said.

One bill would also prevent schools from testing asymptomatic kids. Governor Gretchen Whitmer would likely veto the bills if they reach her desk.

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