Thursday, September 23, 2021 5:12 am

Are there ways around Arizona’s ban on school face mask mandates?

By Kevin Stone | KTAR 

A new Arizona law prohibits public schools from enacting face mask mandates, but a Phoenix attorney said there could be ways around the ban.

Barry Markson of the Gust Rosenfeld law firm told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday he sees several possibilities for circumventing the law, which was passed last month as a provision in the state budget.

“There are things that the governor can do to suspend that law if it’s in the best interest of the health and safety of Arizonans,” Markson said, citing Gov. Doug Ducey’s power to issue executive orders like he did early in the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

That would seem unlikely, however, because Ducey reiterated his opposition to government mandates Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children under 12 are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn’t vaccinated,” Ducey said in a press release. “We’ve passed all of this into law, and it will not change.”

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