OKLAHOMA CITY (August 19, 2021)— Today Governor Kevin Stitt and Attorney General John O’Connor released the following statements after Hulbert Public Schools openly violated state law by mandating masks for all students and adults:
“It is disappointing that one school district has chosen to openly violate a state law that was supported by 80 percent of the Legislature. The goal of SB658 was to ensure every student in Oklahoma could go to school in person and parents retained the fundamental right to make health care decisions for their children. To be clear, no parent is banned from sending their child to school with a mask and no school may mandate masks or vaccines. I will always stand up for parents’ right to decide what is best for their child,” said Governor Stitt.
“We are vigorously defending SB658 in court because it is plainly constitutional and helps protect the choices of students and parents. Under the new law, public school boards cannot implement a mask mandate, unless certain conditions are met, including that the school district be in an area under a current state of emergency declared by the Governor. Under our constitution, the Legislature gets to set the policy of the state—especially on controversial issues like this—and schools should not be actively trying to undermine our constitutional structure of government by violating duly-enacted state law,” said Attorney General O’Connor.
Governor Stitt signed Senate Bill 658 into law on May 28, 2021. It went into effect on July 1, 2021.