ADF to DC mayor: Lift mask mandate for religious schools

WASHINGTON – ADF attorneys representing several parents of children attending Catholic schools in Washington, D.C., sent a letter Monday to the director of the DC Department of Health requesting Mayor Muriel Bowser and her department of health lift the mayor’s mask mandate for children, staff, and teachers at religious schools.

“Wearing masks during school substantially burdens the exercise of religious education, and there is no justifiable reason for Mayor Bowser to continue mandating masks for religious schools, especially when she recently lifted mask mandates across most other venues throughout the district,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman. “Religious freedom laws require the District to lift this mandate on the children, teachers, and staff at religious schools, and we request a swift resolution in this matter to avoid possible legal action.”

The letter explains how the mayor’s order, which was issued on February 14, “will lift the District-wide mask mandate for bars, restaurants, gyms, entertainment, and sports venues, shops, and other businesses starting [Tuesday]. Yet the Order conspicuously—and quite unjustly—leaves children in private schools masked, with no end in sight. This makes no sense, especially in light of the fact that nearby jurisdictions in Virginia and Maryland do not impose mask mandates on private school children. And just last night, Congress—located at the heart of the District—lifted its own mask mandate for its Members and Staff.”

ADF attorneys representing several parents in the Washington, D.C., area are working in partnership with, an organization of parents of children who attend Archdiocese of Washington schools.

SOURCE Alliance Defending Freedom