Mask debate in schools rages on as one parent files lawsuit over mandate

Posted at 5:46 AM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 06:41:44-04

(WXYZ) — The debate regarding schools and mask mandates is continuing throughout Michigan, and there are two big developments overnight from local school districts.

The Clintondale Community Schools Board of Education voted to impose a temporary mask mandate, and in Manchester, a parent is now suing the district's enforcement of its mask mandate.

Staff in that same district say they fear for their safety because they have been trying to enforce the policy.

The federal lawsuit was filed on Monday. The parent said her daughter and others who refuse to wear masks are being isolated from other students, called names, and deprived of necessary oxygen levels.

Despite the backlash, some schools are still moving towards mandates.

"I say we pull the trigger temporarily," Rodriguez Broadnax said.

As a newcomer to the Clintondale Community School district, Broadnax was initially comfortable letting students choose their mask status. Now, he and board members agree it has to be mandatory until at least after holidays.

A district-wide survey found that 77% of parents support a mask mandate. But in a district with about 15-hundred students, fewer than 240 families responded.

The board will revisit the ruling on Jan. 10 and re-survey parents.

In some school districts, administrators have their backs against the wall trying to balance empathy with the law.

In Manchester, parent James Stewart says the mask mandate violates his daughter's constitutional rights.

He claims the district has been extremely unfair and his daughter has suffered both physically and emotionally because of it.

Teachers in Manchester have filed a complaint about all the fighting - saying it has created a hostile working environment.

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