JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Today, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed lawsuits against six school districts (Special School District of St. Louis, Maplewood Richmond Heights, Clayton, Ladue, Webster Groves, and Mehlville) for reimposing their mask mandates on school-age children. The lawsuits argue that the school districts, through arbitrarily set “triggers,” reimplemented their mask mandates. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office previously sued a number of school districts across the state for imposing mask mandates, all of whom have dropped those mandates. Now, as schools are reimplementing forced masking, the Attorney General’s Office is again taking legal action to empower parents and protect Missouri’s children.
“It is truly unbelievable that schools, without any authority whatsoever, are making the decision to reimpose mask mandates on school-age children, a decision that flies in the face of science, data, and common sense. Masks simply do not work to stop the spread of COVID-19, and children are at an exceedingly low risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “There are, however, negative impacts on our children from wearing masks all day in school – loss of learning, mental health issues, social isolation, and more. My Office will not back down in our fight against mask mandates and will work to return power back to where it belongs: in the hands of parents.”
The lawsuits argue that school districts have never been delegated the authority by the legislature to impose mask mandates, and that school districts arbitrarily decided on trigger percentages that vary between districts.
The lawsuit states that, “School districts do not have the authority to impose, at their whim, public health orders for their schoolchildren. That is doubly true when the public health order, in this case, facemasks, creates a barrier to education that far outweighs any speculative benefit.”
Citing this data-based presentation from a group of 16 doctors, the lawsuit also states, “As a group of scientists and doctors summarized, ‘[s]tudent masking has no scientifically established benefit in real-world use’ and, while ‘[p]otential harms from long-term masking are poorly understood, ... reports on mask removal have noted social and emotional benefits for students.’”
The lawsuits incorporate five counts: (1) Declaration that the Mask Mandate is Void, (2) Mask Mandate is Unlawful, (3) The Decision to Institute a Mask Mandate is Unreasonable, Arbitrary, and Capricious, (4) The District’s Trigger Mandate is Unlawful, Arbitrary, and Capricious, and (5) Violation of the Missouri Constitution, Article 9.
Copies of the lawsuits can be found here: