Ortt, joined by Niagara Falls superintendent and concerned parents, seeks to end mask mandate in schools

Posted 12 February 2022 at 1:12 pm

Provided photo: Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, center, is joined by Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark Laurrie, left, and Lisa Dugan, a concerned Niagara Falls grandmother, during a news conference today at Niagara Falls High School.

Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

NIAGARA FALLS – New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt today joined Niagara Falls High School educators and parents to call for an end to New York’s mask mandate for school children.

“Children have suffered under the heavy-handed mandates of Albany for far too long,” Ortt said. “I hear from countless parents, families, and educators all fed up that their children continue to be masked. The science tells us that children are less vulnerable to physical sickness, but more susceptible to emotional damage thanks to these destructive mandates. New Yorkers have had enough. We need Albany to listen to us – we need to end the mask mandate for school children now.”

Ortt and his fellow Republicans in the Senate have fought against statewide pandemic-era rules and regulations. These efforts include ending disgraced ex-Governor Cuomo’s emergency powers, organizing communities in opposition to mandates, forcing legislative votes to repeal various emergency rules and regulations, and further pressuring the current governor and others to end the era of extreme government overreach.

“It is my belief that our Covid cases are dropping significantly. It’s time for mask wearing to be a personal choice, not one of a mandatory nature,” said Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark Laurrie. “Parents and guardians should be able to choose at this point to mask their children, or not.”

“I have fought against the mask mandate from the beginning, because I am concerned for my grandchildren and how the mandate will impact their short and long-term health and education,” said Lisa Dugan, a concerned Niagara Falls grandmother. “I have spoken out against masks at Board of Education meetings and wrote letters to Albany requesting the mandate be lifted.”

This week, Ortt and his fellow Republicans penned a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul, requesting the metrics and thresholds she claims her administration will use to determine when to end the mask mandate in schools.

“I stand with the parents, grandparents, teachers, and local officials who are pushing for a much-needed return to normal,” Ortt said. “No government should ever again have the ability to make these choices for somebody’s children.”