Parents file lawsuit over mask mandate in Johnson County, Kansas schools

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OLATHE, Kan. — Over 20 parents in Johnson County, Kansas have filed a lawsuit stating a health order requiring all students, faculty, staff and visitors wear face coverings while inside school buildings where children pre-kindergarten through sixth grade attend class is unconstitutional.

Johnson County commissioners voted 5-2 in August to mandate masks for all elementary schools.

The mask mandate is expected to last until the end of May 2022, unless amended or replaced by future county commission action.

The lawsuit claims that masking recommendations are based on medical assumptions and not factual data.

It also states that the order should be invalid based on procedural missteps and that it is also the “unconstitutional exercise of governmental power, which is neither narrowly tailored nor further a compelling state interest in preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

The lawsuit also cites several studies claiming “children do not generally spread the coronavirus, even in school buildings.” The suit also claims mask use by young children is “detrimental to their communication skills at a critical stage of their development.”

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