(CBS4) – A federal judge is expected to rule Tuesday on a request by the Douglas County School District for a temporary restraining order to block new relaxed mask rules imposed by the county’s Board of Health.
In highly conservative Douglas County, mask requirements have been the subject of loud and large protests. Now the debate has moved to U.S District Court. Attorneys for the school district, on behalf of students with disabilities — asked a federal judge to temporarily halt the relaxation of rules put in place by the newly created board.
At first this school year the district only recommended masks, then the Tri-County Health Department mandated masks for the children. The county then broke away from Tri-County and created its own board of health. Its new rules left mask exemptions up to parents for their children and restricts imposition of quarantines. Parents simply have to write a letter saying the masks are having a negative impact on their child in order to opt out.
Among the witnesses in the court hearing this week is Superintendent Corey Wise, who addressed a forum before the school year began.
“I think the clarity myself and a lot of superintendents are looking for is ‘You are the medical experts, you tell us what you mandate and what is required,'” he told CBS4 back in August.
Lawyers for the Douglas County Board of Health argued in court that the chances of children getting the virus are low with only two students currently hospitalized and they claimed masks interfere with education.
If granted, the restraining order would block the new rules for at least 14 days.