Judge blocks Tennessee parents from opting out of school mask mandates

Amy Christie

A federal judge ended the chance for parents to opt out of mask requirements for their kids based on the fact that this makes schools unsafe for special needs children.

What are the details?

U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman issued an injunction against Gov. Bill Lee's order after parents of students with health conditions brought a lawsuit arguing that their kids couldn’t attend in-person classes because there were children who didn’t wear face coverings, according to The Blaze.

The complaint states that the executive order breaches the Americans with Disabilities Act, which bans schools from excluding students with disabilities from any educational activities and programs. It was argued that by letting some kids avoid masks, disabled kids would be more vulnerable to infection and thus excluded from coming into the classroom.

"It is that unmasked presence that creates the danger to these Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs offered sufficient evidence at this stage to demonstrate that the Executive Order interferes with Plaintiffs' ability to safely access their schools," the judge wrote.

This injunction comes after a temporary restraining order in which Lipman prohibited schools from allowing parents to opt out of mask mandates.

"The Governor has put the parents of medically vulnerable students in the position of having to decide whether to keep their children at home where they will likely suffer continued learning loss or risk placing them in an environment that presents a serious risk to their health and safety,” it is said in the lawsuit.

The Tennessee attorney general's office tried to argue that parents had other relief alternatives and they could have pursued those instead of filing the lawsuit but was unsuccessful.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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