Ankeny parent plans to file religious exemption following school board’s vote to mandate masks


ANKENY, Iowa – Some parents are disappointed after the Ankeny Community School District voted to re-instate its mask mandate. 

Katie Christiansen said last year her five-year-old daughter contracted a bacterial infectious disease. She says her daughter’s infection led to surgery and numerous follow-up treatments. As a result, her daughter has a scar on her neck. Christianson says the mask irritates her daughter’s skin near the scar. Now, she plans to file for a religious exemption.

“For my daughter to go to school without a mask, we will just file a religious exemption because, at this point, it is deeper than just a medical decision,” said Christiansen.

“I do believe that masks are, they are medical devices as listed on the CDC website, but for us, it’s a religious belief that we have the right to choose these things, and we’re going to decline.”

According to the Return to Learn Plan, “a person for whom the requirements outlined above conflict with a genuine and sincere religious belief, which is, in fact, religious and not based merely on philosophical, scientific, moral, personal, or medical opposition to facial coverings.”

Parents could also file a Certification of Exemption From Facial Covering Requirement

The mask mandate will take effect, Thursday, September 23, 2021.

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