McLaughlin, House Republicans Call For Governor to Halt School Mask Mandate

February 9, 2022

Governor J.B. Pritzker

Office of the Governor

207 State House

Springfield, IL 62706

cc: Attorney General Kwame Raoul

Dear Governor Pritzker,

We are pleased to see you finally follow the lead of other states by taking action to remove your mask mandates. However, we are frankly confused that you continue to press on with an appeal to reinstitute your school mask mandate despite the real damage it is doing to our students.

As you so often say, you follow the science in your decision-making. How can this be when it comes to seeking to reassert your go-it-alone mask mandate in our schools? The science categorically questions your position. The New York Times, hardly a “right-wing” misinformation blog, has reported on this scientific reality, “Studies — in Florida and in England, for example — tend to find little effect on caseloads. One study that did find an effect has been largely debunked.” 

Research also clearly shows that Covid-19 poses less risk to children than the typical risks we expose our children to every day. Also from the Times, “One reason: Severe versions of Covid, including long Covid, are extremely rare in children. For them, the virus resembles a typical flu. Children face more risk from car rides than Covid.”

What the research does show unequivocally is that children are facing severe learning deficits because of Covid-19 mitigations, specifically mask wearing. Young children and students with special needs are struggling to learn basic human interaction and empathy skills as a result of mask wearing. The growing mental health crisis has been staggeringly high for our students. Why are we one of the only states in one of the only countries in the world requiring children under 12 to wear masks in any setting?

Judge Grischow’s ruling is another example that your refusal to work with the legislature or allow locally elected schools boards to make decisions that fit their communities best is creating chaos that need not exist. Governor, like it or not, this rests with you and how you have sought to go it alone with your Executive Orders, not with the Judge. However, you can put an end to it by acknowledging the evidence and ending your appeal to reinstate your mask mandate.

Governor, the unintended consequences of your school mask mandate is doing serious harm. Even as you are dropping mask mandates for indoor gatherings and businesses, you have refused to even present a plan for when our students will be free from your burdensome regulations.

We ask that you take immediate action to free our students from mask mandates and free our schools from the chaos your lack of a plan has produced across our state. We also request you immediately withdraw your appeal of Judge Grischow’s ruling against your school mandates for the benefit of all Illinois schools, teachers, and children. Please take action for the long-term education and mental health of our children.


Chris Bos
State Representative, 51st District
Brad Stephens
State Representative, 20th District
Amy Grant
State Representative, 42nd District
Deanne Mazzochi
State Representative, 47th District
Martin McLaughlin
State Representative, 52nd District
Tom Morrison
State Representative, 54th District
Tom Weber
State Representative, 64th District
Dan Ugaste
State Representative, 65th District
Joe Sosnowski
State Representative, 69th District
Dan Swanson
State Representative, 75th District
Tim Butler
State Representative, 87th District
Tom Demmer
State Representative, 90th District
Mark Luft
State Representative, 91st District
Norine Hammond
State Representative, 93rd District
Avery Bourne
State Representative, 95th District
Sandy Hamilton
State Representative, 99th District
C.D. Davidsmeyer
State Representative, 100th District
Brad Halbrook
State Representative, 102nd District
Dan Brady
State Representative, 105th District
Tom Bennett
State Representative, 106th District
Charlie Meier
State Representative, 108th District
Chris Miller
State Representative, 110th District
Paul Jacobs
State Representative, 115th District
David Friess
State Representative, 116th District
Dave Severin
State Representative, 117th District
Patrick Windhorst
State Representative, 118th District