Senate acts to protect parental choice on student masks, COVID-19 vaccines

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate approved legislation on Tuesday affirming Michigan parents’ rights to choose whether their children wear face masks at school or receive a vaccine for COVID-19.

The action comes after the Biden Administration last Wednesday announced its intention to administer the shots to children aged 5-11 at their schools.

“Our children are not His Majesty Joe Biden’s subjects,” said Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, who sponsored two of the bills. “Neither he nor government bureaucrats and school administrators have the authority or the right to make children’s health care decisions for them — including whether they receive a COVID-19 vaccine or wear a face mask. It is solely up to their parents. Period.”

Senate Bill 600 would prevent Michigan school districts from requiring vaccines that have been authorized under emergency use or an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination for students to attend school or members of the public to attend school board meetings.

SB 601 would allow students to receive a waiver from wearing a face mask at school and prohibit schools from testing asymptomatic students for COVID-19 infection to ride a school bus or enter a school building.

SB 602 would similarly prohibit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from requiring students to receive a vaccine that has only been authorized under emergency use or an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination, from wearing a face mask and from being tested for COVID-19 if asymptomatic to enter a school, ride a bus or participate in school activities.

SB 603 would prohibit local health departments from requiring students to receive a vaccine that has only been authorized under emergency use or an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination, from wearing a face mask and from being tested for COVID-19 if asymptomatic to enter a school, ride a bus or participate in school activities. It would also prevent them from requiring individuals from the same to attend school board meetings.

“Additionally, and importantly, schoolchildren should not be discriminated or punished in any way for not getting a vaccine or wearing a mask,” Theis said. “If a student is asymptomatic, they should be treated just like everyone else, and this legislation will ensure they are.”

The bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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