- Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry distributed sample letters that parents could use to claim exemption to COVID-19 guidelines.
- On his office’s Facebook page, Landry posted letters that claim philosophical and religious exemptions to mask-wearing and vaccines.
- “I have philosophical objections that make it impossible for my child to comply with your COVID-19 policies related to vaccines and mask wearing,” one letter says.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The attorney general of Louisiana drafted and distributed sample letters intended to help parents evade mask-wearing ordinances and COVID-19 vaccination requirements for their children in schools.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Landry posted the letters to his office’s Facebook page. The letters cite philosophical or religious motivations as reasons for a parent to get their child a mask exemption in a Louisiana school.
The letters also seek to help parents justify a reason eligible children aren’t vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“I have philosophical objections that make it impossible for my child to comply with your COVID-19 policies related to vaccines and mask wearing,” the philosophical exemption letter says.
“Your mask policy imposes risks on my child’s mental and emotional health by hindering his verbal and nonverbal communication with classmates and teachers for up to 6+ hours a day,” the same letter says.
The religious exemption letter says a mask mandate leads to “antisocial behaviors” and interferes with “religious commands to share God’s love with others” and “relationships in contravention of the Bible.”
Health agencies nationwide have been urging Americans to wear a mask to curb the spread of the coronavirus for months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask indoors, including students and teachers, regardless of vaccination status.
“When teachers, staff, and students consistently and correctly wear a mask, they protect others as well as themselves,” guidance from the CDC says. “Consistent and correct mask use is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.”
The day before Landry posted the letters to his office’s Facebook page, Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards reinstated an indoor mask mandate for everyone 5 years of age and older. Positive coronavirus cases in Louisiana are rising, and this order was meant to curb the spread, Edwards’ office said.
The indoor mask mandate will remain in place until at least September 1, his office said.
Landry’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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