Bill filed in Oklahoma to reverse law that bans schools from requiring masks

Democratic State Representative Melissa Provenzano says the Safe at School Act is about restoring control to local communities.

Justice

Some Oklahoma Democrats have filed a bill to reverse the law that bans schools from requiring masks.

Democratic State Representative Melissa Provenzano says she felt the need to author the Safe at School Act.

If passed, it would reverse Senate Bill 658, which prevents Oklahoma schools districts from requiring masks without a State of Emergency in place.

Provenzano says the needs in school districts across Oklahoma are different, and the Safe at School Act is about restoring control to local communities.

She explains, “In Tulsa, it could look different than what is needed in Beggs, and we need to have the ability to make quick decisions without having to wait for a State of Emergency declared by the governor.”

Provenzano has experienced first-hand the devastating effects of COVID-19. She says her dad, 70-year-old Tom Duncan, died from the virus.

“I’ve been there and I’ve watched what it does to the body, and I would not wish that on my worst enemy,” Provenzano says. “I think the parents that are coming to me are the ones with children under 12 and the children with special needs that are not able to get vaccinated. They’re asking how are we going to be able to put them in a general education classroom if they’re not able to be protected.”

Provenzano says she’d like there to be a special legislative session soon, rather than having to wait for a normal legislative session in February.

Earlier this summer, Governor Kevin Stitt said he would not be declaring a State of Emergency.

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