TOPEKA (KSNT)– Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced on Dec. 21 that he would be joining 23 other attorney general’s across the nation in filing a petition against a federal mandate.

The mandate requires that all staff and volunteers who work directly with children involved in Head Start programs get vaccinated by January 31. It also states that any child two years of age or older will be required to wear a face mask.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Head Start programs are federally funded programs aimed at lower-income families to help get infants, toddlers, and pre-school-aged children ready for school.

Schmidt says on his website that Kansas families already struggle with childcare and that this mandate will only worsen childcare conditions and shortages.

“I think persuasion is the answer, and I think it’s very difficult to persuade when the Biden administration has a metaphorical gun to the heads of many Americans.”

He says that the government shouldn’t have the power to compel people to make individual health care decisions.

Some parents feel differently. Sarah Beilman is the mother of a four-year-old boy with health conditions. She said that she would feel more comfortable if her child was around people who were vaccinated because he can’t get the vaccine himself yet.

“I do understand wanting to have your children around people who are vaccinated because it lowers the chance and everyone is getting that new variance. I literally just took my son to the hospital and that’s what they’re full of, is people that didn’t get vaccinated.”

Including this filing, the Attorney General has filed four cases against the federal government regarding vaccine mandates.