Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s office last week tightened up the state’s requirements for all-day mask wearing by students in schools, effectively contradicting current child abuse laws and abuse prevention policies Wolf has until now supported.
The latest clamp-down on masks drew fierce criticism from parents, teachers, students and the American Pastors Network, which recently sent all three branches of state government an Open Letter detailing the reason for Pastoral leadership in calling the citizens to Restore the Law, and a Resolution citing the Executive and Judicial Branch abuses of power along with Defining the Problem, the Causes, and the Solution to the Governor’s unconstitutional mandates imposed on the Commonwealth’s citizens as a result of his March 6, 2020 Declaration of Emergency.
“Most parents, teachers and even the kids are resisting the mask mandates as applied to students who attend school, and they rightly should, because the mask mandate is not in the child’s best interest,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, a nine-term former Pennsylvania representative.
“Forcing students to wear masks all day not only produces student distraction and anxiety, it meets the definition of child abuse under existing law passed by the Legislature to protect children’s health and well-being,” Rohrer continued.
APN and the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, which together represent more than 1,200 pastors in Pennsylvania alone, identified the harm being done to the citizens of the Commonwealth child abuse laws being violated in the Open Letter to the Citizens and historic resolution copied to all three branches of state government.
“The mandated mask guidelines for children over 2 years of age and all day in school settings, according to the provisions of 23 § 6303 (b.1) (8v) relating to child abuse, constitutes interference with the breathing of a child,” the resolution states.
“Additionally, the mask order, combined with the mandatory social distancing guidelines for children, may well constitutes unreasonable restraint or confinement of a child (b.1)(8ii), and therefore inflicts on the children of this Commonwealth a clear instance of child abuse under the law.”
Rohrer says the Wolf administration’s decisions are unlawful and harmful to children.
“Are we now at the place where such protections under existing law can be cavalierly discarded when required by a single state official and not rise to the charge of ‘state-sanctioned’ child abuse?” Rohrer said.
The Resolution with recommended legislative action as drafted by APN condemns the Executive Branch for compelling upstanding citizens to become enablers of child abuse under current law.
“Further, the mask order encourages and ultimately forces adults who are mandated reporters to enable and participate in the very actions carefully identified by existing Commonwealth child abuse laws,” the resolution states.
Rohrer says the Wolf administration’s latest abuse of power not only violates the law but also coerces citizens — including parents and teachers responsible for the safety of their children and students — into breaking the law.
“The Executive Branch’s infatuation with mask wearing, first over adults and now students, forces people in the setting of the school to actually participate in a violation of the law as written — and that is truly unjust,” Rohrer said. “This is hypocritical not only of Governor Wolf but of all those in Executive Branch positions who are making these rules based on feeling, disregarding existing law or objective fact. This is just one more example of continuing harm resulting from the Governor’s refusal to follow the lawful Legislative directive in HR 836 to rescind his March 6, 2020, Disaster Declaration and the need to Restore the Law!”
All people are invited to read and sign the Open Letter to the Citizens and historic resolution at www.RestoreTheLaw.org.