SW Illinois parents sue school district for mask warrant

TROY, Ill. (AP) – A group of parents are suing a southwestern Illinois school district over its mask mandate, asking a judge to allow their children to attend school without a mask.

A lawyer filed the lawsuit on behalf of three parents who have nine children enrolled in Triad Community Unit School District 2, which imposed a mask warrant after Governor JB Pritzker issued an executive order on coronaviruses during the been requiring universal masking in Illinois schools.

The parents’ lawsuit calls on a Madison County judge to approve temporary restraining orders that would allow their children to attend school without a mask, at least in the short term.

Their attorney, Tom DeVore, argues in the complaint that Illinois County Health Departments have the right to issue quarantine orders, but school districts do not. He also argues that there are no health regulations to force asymptomatic students to wear masks, Belleville News-Democrat reported.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people infected with the COVID-19 virus may be asymptomatic but still able to transmit the virus to others.

Stephanie Jones, attorney for District Superintendent Leigh Lewis, said in a statement the district plans to fight the lawsuit. She said such lawsuits “only serve to punish school districts for following state health and safety guidelines.”

“The lawsuits cost taxpayers money that districts could spend to provide a safe and healthy environment for students to learn,” Jones added.

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