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The ACLU and Disability Rights Advocates File Lawsuit over Iowa's Ban on Mask Mandates

The ACLU of Iowa and disability rights groups are suing state officials in federal court to overturn a statewide ban on school mask mandates.

ACLU attorney Susan Mizner  says many disabled students have chronic conditions that make the coronavirus a severe health threat. But she says they still have the right to learn in-person, and to ask classmates to wear masks as the CDC recommends.

 If the student needs the school to do something that’s reasonable, and following public health guidelines is pretty reasonable, they must do that in order to allow the students with disabilities access to their education.

The lawsuit was filed for a group of 11 Iowa parents of students with disabilities who say the ban discriminates against their children.

A parent from Council Bluffs filed a similar court challenge last week. The U.S. Department of Education is also investigating whether laws in Iowa and four other states violate federal anti-discrimination laws.


Tyson Foods, by far the largest employer in metro Sioux City, is offering its front-line workers paid sick leave for the first time. The move is part of an agreement that secured union support for its mandate that all U.S. employees get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

The meatpacking giant said 90,000 — or 75% — of its 120,000 U.S. workers have now been vaccinated, up from 50% when it announced the mandate on Aug. 3. Workers have until Nov. 1 to get vaccinated, but the agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers provides for medical and religious exemptions.

Tyson Foods, which has over 4,500 employees and contractors at its flagship beef plant in Dakota City, Nebraska, is among the few companies with a sizeable front-line workforce to impose a vaccine mandate so far. 

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