Washington, DC—On October 20, 2021, Congressman Steve Womack joined Congressman Bruce Westerman, Congressman Rick Crawford, and Congressman French Hill in sending a letter to Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Miguel Cardona opposing a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on public schools.
“Education policies are best handled at the local level – not by Washington bureaucrats,” said Rep. Womack. “We don’t need the federal government inserting itself where it does not belong. Our school leaders and families are more than capable to work together and make choices that are best for students. Arkansas will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our children.”
“For the duration of the pandemic, we have trusted parents, schools, and states to make the best decisions for the children in their care,” said Rep. Westerman. “A Federal vaccine mandate on schools is not only unnecessary, but it undermines the authority of parents and localities and risks further disruption of students’ education. Arkansas has been an example to the nation on how to navigate this complex issue by prioritizing the safe reopening of schools while preserving patient privacy, parental rights, and individual liberty. I implore the Department of Education to honor the rights of parents and local school boards to make the decision that best suits their families and communities.”
“Like many parents, I have seen firsthand how COVID-19 has been used as an excuse to infringe upon the freedom of parents to make decisions for their children,” said Rep. Crawford. “The needs of each child, family, and school district are different, and our leaders at the state and local level understand these nuances far better than federal bureaucrats. The administration’s current plan is dismissive of these concerns and bulldozes the rights of state governments and individuals, creating more vaccine hesitancy as a result.”
Read the full letter here.