Williamson County Schools (WCS) has announced new mask requirement information due to a lawsuit filed late last week. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 13-year-old girl with down syndrome and a 7-year-old girl with Type 1 diabetes; the suit argued that buildings and buses were not safe for students with special needs, reports News Channel 5. In an email to WCS families, the district said the new requirement began today, Monday, September 27 and affects all students, staff and volunteers.
The email states:
On Friday afternoon, September 24, in regard to a lawsuit filed against the State of Tennessee, Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee issued a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining Governor Bill Lee from enforcing Executive Order 84, which allowed parents to opt out of the Williamson County Board of Education’s mask mandate on a purely voluntary basis. The Court also ordered the district to enforce its mask mandate without allowing voluntary parental opt-outs such as those allowed under Executive Order 84. The Court found that to do otherwise would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, stating that a universal mask mandate is a reasonable accommodation required to allow disabled students access to Williamson County Schools.
If your child has previously been granted a religious or medical exemption, those exemptions will continue to be honored. The same applies to staff. Please consult with your school nurse if you have any questions related to your child’s health.
If your child has been excused from wearing a mask due to the voluntary parental opt-outs that have been granted under Executive Order 84, your child will be required to wear a face-covering to school effective immediately. The same pertains to staff and volunteers.
The injunction is in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, October 5 when Lee’s executive order is set to expire, reports News Channel 5.
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