Parents in Indiana Threaten to Sue Unless District Lifts Mask’s Warrant | State and regional
Bob Kasarda, 219-548-4345
PORTAGE, Ind. – Parents of two families of students in a northern Indiana school district have notified the district of their intention to sue unless the COVID-19 mask requirement for students that went into effect Tuesday be canceled.
“I will let you know right away, my child will not wear a mask, will not be forced to wear one because I DO NOT CONSENT and there has been no open public discussion,” according to Brad and Laura Kellett’s notices of claim. , and Karl and Jacklyn Greer, from schools in the Township of Portage.
“School districts just don’t have the power to make laws of general application regarding health issues like this,” parents say. “We have not lost any explicit right that any private or federal agency have RIGHTS over our domination and that of our children and, therefore, these rights are powers reserved for the people.”
Schools have implemented the mask requirement in order to comply with parents’ call to stick to in-school learning as opposed to a virtual approach, District Attorney Ken Elwood said on Tuesday. .
“This is our main motivator,” he said.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb last week issued an executive order stating that while masks are mandatory and the requirement is enforced, quarantines are not necessary following exposure to an infected person to unless symptoms develop, Elwood said. Without this requirement, more students could be out of the classroom and quarantined.
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The neighboring Crown Point Community School Corporation announced Thursday that 1,092 staff and students had been quarantined since the start of the school year. The district then implemented its own mask mandate and changed its quarantine policy to follow the new decree in a move that should immediately bring hundreds of students back to class.
Portage Township Schools Superintendent Amanda Alaniz said in a letter to parents on Friday: “Our staff are working diligently to mitigate the academic and social / emotional effects of this pandemic; having our students in school with their teachers and peers is going to be critical to their success. “
The plaintiff parents say their lawsuits will seek damages for “unauthorized restrictions on liberty, identifying a minor as a potential public health risk without jurisdiction (or evidence)” and enforcing dress codes that do not match to existing regulations.
Parents further claim that the school board cannot adopt the requirement on its own without a public meeting.
“You are not an authority and you will either CANCEL your statement or we will take this matter to the HIGHEST of court while prosecuting EACH and everyone of you,” say the tort claims.
If the warrant is not terminated by the end of business day Tuesday, parents say they will seek a temporary restraining order this week.
The parents say they forwarded copies of their letters to Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.
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