Lawyers in Mask Case to Allow PENNCREST and Other School Districts to Join | New

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the state government school mask warrants filed on Friday to allow the PENNCREST school district, as well as two other school districts, to join the lawsuit.

The law firm of Dillon, McCandless, King, Coulter and Graham LLP has filed a petition in Commonwealth Court to allow the school districts of PENNCREST, Chestnut Ridge and West York to join the lawsuit to end the terms of mask issued by Acting Health Secretary Alison Rayonner. PENNCREST School Board members voted unanimously at their September 9 meeting to join the lawsuit.

The school districts of Chestnut Ridge and West York are located in Bedford County and York County, respectively.

George Joseph, attorney for PENNCREST, told the Tribune that he had been notified that the motion would be filed on Friday. He said it would now be up to the judge handling the case to decide whether PENNCREST and the other districts will be allowed to participate.

Tom King, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, has been authorized by school board vote to be his representative in the lawsuit and Joseph will not play a role in the case itself.

The lawsuit was originally initiated by a group of eight parents, Pro Tempore State Senate Speaker Jake Corman, State Representative Jesse Topper, Calvary Baptist Church and Hillcrest Christian Academy.

The lawsuit argues that Beam does not have the authority to issue the warrant under the Disease Prevention and Control Act.

Although PENNCREST is looking to end the warrants, it is still enforcing the mask requirements at this time. Joseph had previously informed the board and Superintendent Timothy Glasspool that ignoring terms could expose school board members and administrators to legal action if a student becomes ill while in school.

Sean P. Ray can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at [email protected]

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