At Disability Rights Montana, we work to protect every student’s right to safely access in-person education with their peers. Without masking in schools, many students with disabilities, and especially those with medical conditions putting them at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, are having to choose between their health and safety, and their education. Efforts to prevent masking in schools are putting children with disabilities at risk and preventing them from equally participating in their education.
The Office for Civil Rights is investigating states where governments have banned public schools from requiring students to wear masks. The bans on mask requirements, according to the OCR, may be preventing school districts from meeting the individual needs of students with disabilities or otherwise allowing discrimination based on disability, in violation of the law.
If your child cannot wear a mask because of their disability, they have a right to an accommodation or modification of the school’s mask policies. You can request an accommodation from the School District for your child. We’ve provided a mask-specific request for reasonable accommodation form letter to help you with your request. If you feel your child has been discriminated against on the basis of their disability, please contact the Office for Civil Rights to file a complaint.
 Dear Superintendent Spearman, United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Re: OCR Docket #11-21-8901, Aug. 30, 2021.