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Gov. Reynolds responds to Dept. of Education investigating Iowa, other states with mask mandate bans

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(KWWL) -- Governor Kim Reynolds responded on Monday to the U.S. Department of Education investigating Iowa and four other states who have universal bans on mask mandates.

READ MORE: Iowa among five states with universal mask mandate bans being investigated by Department of Education

The Department of Education's office for civil rights sent a letter to Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo saying the mask mandate policies could amount to discrimination against students with disabilities or health conditions.

The education chiefs in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah, all received similar letters.

School districts in all five of these states currently are unable to mandate masks because of state laws. There are other states with bans on indoor mask mandates, but the Department of Educations says they are not currently investigating them because court orders have resulted in those bans not being enforced.

Governor Reynolds says that the Biden Administration is going after these Republican governors to distract from other issues he is facing and that Iowa will "continue to support individual liberty over government mandates."

Gov. Reynolds responded to the Biden Administration with this statement:

“Iowa was able to reopen schools safely and responsibly over a year ago. President Biden and his team know this, yet they’ve decided to pick a political fight with a handful of governors to distract from his own failures - Afghanistan, the border, inflation, and more. 

“As I’ve said all along, I believe and trust in Iowans to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families. Iowa’s democratically elected legislature endorsed that view as well when they passed a law to support a parent’s right to decide what’s best for their own children. In Iowa, we will continue to support individual liberty over government mandates.” 

Gov. Kim Reynolds

The Associated Press contributed to this story.