Lawsuit filed against Tredyffrin-Easttown school mask policy – Daily Local

EASTTOWN – A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the Tredyffrin-Easttwown school district challenging a Wolf administration order requiring children to wear masks to school. The ordinance went into effect last week and has sparked protests at school board meetings from some parents.

The statewide mandate imposed by Acting Secretary of Health Allison Beam went into effect on September 7 and requires students and teachers at all Pennsylvania public schools to wear face masks for inhibit the spread of COVID-19. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cases of COVID-19 in children have increased 240% since July.

The lawsuit, filed by Philadelphia law firm Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel, argues that the August 31 decision of the Tredyffrin-Easttown school board in adopting a health and safety plan discriminates against religious objections to wearing coveralls. faces by exempting only certain secular activities. of the mask requirement.

The lawsuit argues that none of the alternatives to masking are satisfactory because they undermine the free exercise of religion by treating students differently based on their religious objections to wearing masks.

Further, the lawsuit claims the state’s health ministry does not have the regulatory authority to require healthy people who are not infected with a communicable disease to wear masks to prevent transmission of COVID. -19 in schools.

The plaintiffs claim that in the suit, the fabric face covers have not been approved by the FDA as a medical device to prevent virus transmission, and that the district’s testing protocol has not been approved by the FDA.

The parents named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Sarah Marvin, of Russell Road, Paoli; Andrew McLellan, Whitehorse Road, Malvern; Alicia Geerings, Laurel Lane, Wayne and David Goveranti from Sugartown Road, Devon.

The lawsuit says the plaintiffs’ children went to school on August 30 and school officials refused to allow them to attend classes in person and sent them home because they did not want to. wear face masks.

Officials with the Tredyffrin-Easttown school district declined to comment due to the litigation, but its website released a statement saying: “The Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced an order ordering the wearing of blankets. faces by all people aged two and over in school. . TESD’s COVID-19 mitigation plan currently includes such a requirement. The district will comply with all masking orders and will continue to monitor the guidelines and recommendations of our local, state and federal public health officials. “

Wolf said in a statement: “My office has received a wave of messages from parents asking the administration to protect all children by requiring masks in schools,” Governor Wolf said. “The science is clear. The Delta variant is highly transmissible and dangerous to unvaccinated people, many of whom are children too young to receive the vaccine. Requiring masks in schools will keep our students safer and in the classroom, where we all want them to be.

“I preferred that the local school boards make this decision. Sadly, an aggressive national campaign is spreading misinformation about wearing masks and pressuring and intimidating school districts to reject mask policies that will keep children and school safe. As we see cases increasing among children in Pennsylvania and across the country, this is especially dangerous and difficult as we seek to keep children in school and maintain a safe and healthy learning environment. “

A trial hearing is set for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 21, in East Philadelphia District Court.

The lawsuit is one of many lawsuits filed against Governor Tom Wolf’s directive on face masks in schools. One lawsuit was filed on September 3 in Commonwealth Court by Republican Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Jack Corman, and another was filed by parents of students in the Parkland School District in Lehigh Valley and another in the district Pennsbury School in Bucks County.

A fundraising site to offset the legal costs of the lawsuit called “Unmask TE” has been created and has raised nearly $ 8,500 to date. It can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/unmask-te-support-freedom-of-choice.

The Trdyffrin-Easttown Mitigation Plan can be viewed here https://www.tesd.net/cms/lib/PA01001259/Centricity/Domain/1939/TE%20Covid%20Mitigation%20Plan%20Aug%2016%202021.pdf . The lawsuit can be found here https://pattyebenson.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/PA-Eastern-District-Lawsuit-Attorney-Filing-Geerling-et-al.pdf.

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