Even as the new omicron variant of COVID-19 is making the news and spreading across borders, and as vaccine companies scramble to meet the new threat, parents in Springfield, Missouri are suing the school district there for the mask mandate that is in place.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that six parents filed a lawsuit claiming that the Springfield Public School district lacks the authority to have a mask mandate for students and faculty.
The mask mandate has been in place since schools came back from summer break in August and the Springfield News-Leader reported that these parents believe it to be an overreach of authority that infringes on the rights of parents.
Stephanie Sproule, one of the parents filing the lawsuit, said in a recent board meeting that, "It is time to end the so-called pandemic".
Superintendent Grenita Lathan revealed at the same meeting that the district has plans to lift the mask mandate in mid-January, hoping this will give families with younger kids, only recently eligible for the vaccine, time to get vaccinated.
The CDC has explained the benefits of wearing masks in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
773,779 deaths in the United States are attributed to COVID-19 while nations around the world are working to stop the spread of the new omicron variant of COVID-19 coming out of a handful of African countries.
Chief communications officer for Springfield Public Schools, Stephen Hall, has characterized the lawsuit as "frivolous, short-sighted, and harmful".
SPS is confident that our district is on the right side of history and that the courts will affirm the decisions we’ve made to protect the safety and well-being of the most vulnerable among us — our children. -Stephen Hall, Springfield Public Schools