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Children wearing face masks.FamVeld /

ATLANTA, Georgia (LifeSiteNews) — Governor Brian Kemp signed legislation on Tuesday that bans school officials from forcing kids to wear masks.

The Unmask Georgia Students Act prohibits government entities, including superintendents, school boards and individual schools from “[requiring] students to wear face masks or face coverings while present in any area of a school or school grounds or other property owned or operated by the local school system.”

Parents may still choose to have their kids wear face masks. The new law also prohibits “[an] administrator, teacher, or other school personnel” from requiring face masks.

“The bill is great news for our parents; it’s great news for our students,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said at the signing ceremony, according to The Center Square. “When it comes to masks, vaccines or other personal health decisions, they have complete say of what needs to be done.”

One Democratic representative said the legislation “endangers the public.”

“Banning mask mandates leave shut downs as the only public health mitigation strategy left to stop a dangerous respiratory contagion, and I don’t think ANYONE wants our schools to have to shut down again,” state Rep. Jasmine Clark said in a Facebook post last week.

The legislature first introduced the bill in February. At the time, Gov. Kemp said school officials were ignoring science by instituting mask mandates.

“While some districts continue to ignore the science and force their students to remain masked throughout the school day, the ‘Unmask Georgia Students Act’ ensures parents have the final say,” Kemp said in February. “As we enter the third year of facing COVID-19, it is past time for a return to normal and for decisions regarding protection against the virus to be made by individual Georgians and their families – not the government.”