What Governors Are Saying About the Department of Education's Mask Mandate Investigation

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a formal inquiry into the legality of mask mandate prohibitions in school districts across several states.

Here is what governors in some of the hardest-hit districts and targets for the investigation have to say about the effort and its politics.


“As I’ve said all along, I believe and trust in Iowans to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families. Iowa’s democratically elected legislature endorsed that view as well when they passed a law to support a parent’s right to decide what’s best for their own children,” Reynolds said in the statement. “In Iowa, we will continue to support individual liberty over government mandates.” — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds


“Until every American citizen is safely out of Afghanistan, President Biden shouldn’t spend a single second harassing states like Oklahoma for protecting parents’ rights to make health decisions for their kids.” — Spokesperson for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt


“Governor McMaster isn’t going to stand for it because he knows that parents – not federal bureaucrats – know what’s best for their children,” Symmes said. “Under South Carolina law, anybody who wants to wear a mask – in a school setting or elsewhere – is free to do so, but the governor isn’t going to ignore a parent’s fundamental right to make health decisions for their children.” — Brian Symmes, Spokesperson for South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster


“That Department of Education letter just came out today,” Lee said. “Our teams are reviewing those, but I can’t comment on that until we investigate further the particular claims of the letter.” — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee


“The process that is in place is one that requires — demands — collaboration, or we don’t get anywhere. I have no desire to do something and then have it immediately overturned by the Legislature. That doesn’t help anything.” — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox