Public school buses are NOT public transportation, and therefore, should not be included in the current masking order.
By legal definition, US Code – Title 49 – Subtitle III – Chapter 53 – Section 5302, public schools are excluded from the definition of “public transportation
(14) Public transportation.—The term “public transportation”—
(A)means regular, continuing shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public or open to a segment of the general public defined by age, disability, or low income; and
(B)does not include—
(i)intercity passenger rail transportation provided by the entity described in chapter 243 (or a successor to such entity);
(ii)intercity bus service;
(iii)charter bus service;
(iv)school bus service;
(vi)courtesy shuttle service for patrons of one or more specific establishments; or
(vii)intra-terminal or intra-facility shuttle services.
Based on this legal definition, school bus service does not fall under the CDC guidance, and therefore, it should be treated in the same manner as the rest of the guidance/recommendations.
In addition, PASA (Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators) published this in their August 9, newsletter:
In Health & Safety News…
Clarification on School Buses, Masks & Enforcement – (from AASA) This summer the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an order requiring wearing of masks in all public conveyances and transportation hubs. In its order, the TSA referenced school buses and the importance of keeping students and teachers safe. Also, in its FAQ on the order, the TSA references a CDC order issued last January (and still in effect) that masks on school buses are required.
Since the TSA released these documents, AASA has further reviewed them and is providing the following information concerning the requirement and enforcement:
“Many superintendents have expressed confusion about different federal orders requiring masks on school buses, and we are writing to provide some clarity for you and your administrative teams on this issue.
“But, first some context: In June, CDC reiterated its order from January that school bus masking is required. At the same time, several states acted in the spring and summer to prohibit local school districts from requiring masks for students generally.
“Superintendents have wondered what the consequence of following state law (no mask mandates) and flaunting federal CDC orders would be and the answer is as follows: CDC has no way of enforcing its school bus mask mandate. While they have the power to issue orders, their enforcement capacity is essentially non-existent. Superintendents should weigh the consequences of what would occur if they do not follow the state mandate on masks and following the CDC order and vice versa.
“In addition to masking, there are multiple effective mitigation strategies for districts to employ to reduce the risks associated with student transportation as demonstrated in this document published by the U.S. Department of Education. Regardless of what practices your district employs, the U.S. Department of Education has reiterated that social distancing practices on school buses should not deter districts from offering full-time, in-person instruction.
“With regards to the TSA order for buses that have associated fines for noncompliance, please know that school buses are not part of the order. There is no financial penalty associated with noncompliance with the TSA or CDC orders.”
The PDF of this newsletter can be downloaded here
Statutes of Pennsylvania
(b.1) Child abuse. The term “child abuse” shall mean intentionally, knowingly or recklessly doing any of the following:
(v) Interfering with the breathing of a child.
individuals to whom the product is administered are informed—
(I) that the Secretary has authorized the emergency use of the product;
(II) of the significant known and potential benefits and risks of such use, and of the extent to which such benefits and risks are unknown; and
(III) of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product, of the consequences, if any, of refusing administration of the product, and of the alternatives to the product that are available and of their benefits and risks.
EUA products are by definition experimental and thus require the right to refuse. Under the Nuremberg Code, the foundation of ethical medicine, no one may be coerced to participate in a medical experiment. Consent of the individual is “absolutely essential.” A federal court held that even the U.S. military could not mandate EUA vaccines to soldiers. Doe #1 v. Rumsfeld, 297 F.Supp.2d 119 (2003).
(5) Deprivation of basic human rights, such as withholding meals, water or fresh air.(7) Treatment of a demeaning nature.(2) Punishment for a manifestation of a student’s disability.