JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Thousands of Missouri parents and students emailed the state attorney general’s office about concerns over mask mandates and other COVID-19 protocols, according to Eric Schmitt.
Last week, Missouri’s attorney general asked parents to report school districts that were enforcing mask mandates. He asked concerns to be sent to an email after a Cole County judge ruled that public health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic are unconstitutional.
Schmitt said more than 7,500 emails from concerned parents and students were sent to his office in a week. According to the AG, a majority were from parents and students opposed to mask mandates and quarantine orders.
“We’ve received a tremendous response from parents who are fed up with school districts across the state continuing to force their children to wear a mask all day or quarantine when they’re perfectly healthy,” Schmitt said. “My Office has worked diligently to identify non-compliant school districts and send cease and desist letters to those districts. We will continue to fight these mask mandates and quarantine orders and enforce the law.”
Schmitt sent 52 cease and desist letters to school districts across the state, including multiple districts in the Kansas City area. Each letter was sent because of a complaint from someone involved with the district Schmitt said.
In a statement released Friday, Schmitt took credit for “a number of school districts that have either already rescinded or plan to rescind their mask mandates, quarantine orders.”
But other districts, like Lee’s Summit, plan to take legal action to continue to enforce protocols, if necessary. Instead of changing its COVID-19 protocols, a lawyer who represents the Lee’s Summit school board sent his own letter to the attorney general’s office and plans to defend its protocols if Schmitt decides to sue.
Jackson County and St. Louis County have filed a motion to intervene in the court ruling that struck down public health officials and school districts’ abilities to issue health orders.
The two counties argue they want to “preserve the regulations that have enabled local public health authorities to address all matters of public health, not just COVID-19.”