Ian Prior writes for Newsweek about waning support for forced masking of school kids.

In the beginning of the pandemic, we asked so much of our children. We asked them to stay away from friends, family and loved ones. We told them to be afraid of a quiet contagion when we knew so little about it. We kept them home and isolated out of fear. The resulting learning loss has stunted their development, as has the depression and mental health issues that affect so many. Now, two years into the pandemic, our understanding of COVID-19 has changed, and it is well past time to reevaluate how we have asked our children to respond.

The shift started as people across the country, including medical professionals, realized that demanding children wear masks in school has had significant downsides. In the last two weeks alone, legacy media organizations have published op-eds or stories reconsidering the value of mask mandates in schools. Just days ago, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that it is time to consider dumping school mask mandates altogether.

With the midterm elections less than a year away, Democrats are reading the room and changing their tune on mandatory school mask mandates. Just recently, Democratic governors in New Jersey, Delaware, Oregon and Connecticut announced they would end their states’ school mask mandates. Even Randi Weingarten, head of American Federation of Teachers, signaled her willingness for masks to come off in schools. She admitted on MSNBC “no one wants masks in schools.” After years of threatening, suspending and holding back children from the classroom, Democrats and teachers’ unions are admitting that it is not science, but the politics that has changed.

Republicans were ahead of the curve on school mask mandates. Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin promised during his campaign that he would give parents the right to decide whether their children should wear masks in schools.