Judge dismisses Northland Parent Association’s mask lawsuit against Kansas City districts

Education

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A judge has dismissed a Northland parent group’s lawsuit over mask mandates in Kansas City area school districts.

In August, the Northland Parent Association sued more than a dozen Missouri school districts and boards of education over indoor mask mandates. The mayors of Kansas City and North Kansas City, as well as city council members from those two cities, are also named in the lawsuit.

The parent group is made up of Clay and Platte county parents who say they’re working to have their children’s best interest in mind.

The group’s lawsuit claims the mask mandates at Northland school districts are unconstitutional, unreasonable and illegal. The suit claims the mandates violate the rights of students to get an equal education because students who refuse to wear masks will be suspended.

The group also said parents weren’t given enough notice about meetings where mandates were decided.

But on Monday, U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. denied the lawsuit as moot, saying the group didn’t prove standing to file the suit. Gaitan also granted the defense’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

“I thank the Kansas City Attorney’s Office for their successful defense of the mask rules to help fight the spread of COVID in schools among our young people,” Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted in response to lawsuit’s dismissal. “Their safety is paramount, particularly as we face new variants.”

There is currently a mask mandate in Kansas City, Missouri, that only applies to those inside school buildings. It’s set to expire Dec. 2 unless the city council takes action. The Northland Parent Association also filed a motion in an attempt to block that revised mask order last month.

Wyandotte County is the only jurisdiction in the Kansas City area that still has an indoor mask mandate in public.

This is a developing story. FOX4 will update as we learn more.

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