PRINTER'S NO. 1040
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
846
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY MASTRIANO, J. WARD, SCAVELLO, REGAN, GEBHARD,
BARTOLOTTA AND STEFANO, AUGUST 27, 2021
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, AUGUST 27, 2021
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in school health services, providing
for face covering or mask mandate opt out.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding a
section to read:
Section 1419.1. Face Covering or Mask Mandate Opt Out.--(a)
A parent or legal guardian of a child of school age may opt out
the child from wearing a face covering or mask, which the
child's school imposes as a result of a recommendation or
mandate from the Secretary of Health or a local board or
department of health, that is primarily responsible for the
prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable
disease, including disease control in public and private schools
as set forth under section 3 of the act of April 23, 1956 (1955
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P.L.1510, No.500), known as the Disease Prevention and Control
Law of 1955.
(b) The child's school shall be required to develop and
post, on the school's publicly accessible Internet website, a
form to allow for a parent or legal guardian of the child to opt
out the child from wearing a face covering or mask. The form may
not require the parent or legal guardian to provide an excuse
for the opt out.
(c) The form shall also state that a child of school age
whose parent or legal guardian has opted out the child from
wearing a face covering or mask shall not be subject to any
harassment or discriminatory treatment, including being:
(1) Relegated to certain physical locations.
(2) Isolated during school activities.
(3) Excluded from any school-sponsored events or activities.
(d) As used in this section--
"Face covering or mask" means material covering the nose and
mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps or loops
over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. The face
covering can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural
fabrics, including cotton, silk or linen. The face covering may
be factory-made, sewn by hand or be improvised from household
items, including scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts or
towels.
"Local board or department of health" means the term as
defined under section 2(f) of the act of April 23, 1956 (1955
P.L.1510, No.500), known as the Disease Prevention and Control
Law of 1955.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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