HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Friday that Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam’s school mask mandate does not pass constitutional muster.
The high court agreed with an earlier Commonwealth Court ruling that Beam did not follow proper procedures in instituting the mask mandate in August. It vacated the mandate, meaning it is now up to local school districts to decide on masks for students, faculty, and staff.
The mandate would have been legal, experts say, had it come under a disaster declaration. But that didn’t happen.
As previously reported, Beam proposed a mandate to keep masks in schools that took effect on Sept. 7. This mandate was received with backlash from many parents and lawmakers.
They insist the health secretary cannot legally require masks. On Nov. 10, the Commonwealth Court ruled in favor of those parents, saying the health secretary did not have the authority to impose this mandate.
Interestingly, the mask mandate is vacated as Coronavirus continues its surge and just weeks before the Holidays. The Wolf Administration had previously announced it would end the mandate on January 17.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.