As Schools Impose Mask Rules to Slow Pandemic’s Spread, Disability-Rights Advocates Caution Against Strict Enforcement
Oct 07
student sitting on step outside of school with mask on

As Schools Impose Mask Rules to Slow Pandemic’s Spread, Disability-Rights Advocates Caution Against Strict Enforcement

In an October 7 piece, The 74 Million shared Senior Policy Director Wendy Tucker’s concerns about disproportionate discipline of students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Long before the pandemic closed campuses, children with disabilities were subjected to harsh school discipline far more frequently than their peers without special needs. But now, as districts return to in-person learning with a long list of public health rules like face mask mandates, disability-rights advocates fear that the situation could become worse. “With the already existing crisis, that sets the stage for the crisis to really explode when buildings reopen,” Wendy Tucker, senior policy director at the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools, said during a webinar Tuesday. But collaboration between parents and teachers, and less punitive approaches to enforcing school rules, could make all the difference, she said.

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