NASHVILLE -- A Tennessee school district has been allowed to continue requiring students to wear facemasks in school, despite a Federal Judge's Friday extension of a blocking order, The Tennessean reported.
This ruling is the result of a lawsuit brought to you by two families of children with disabilities who attend Williamson County Schools. They claim that Gov. They claim Gov.
U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw found Friday that disabled students were at significantly greater risk of severe infection and were exposed at a higher rate after Lee's executive orders. He called it "an irreparable injury" and justified continuing to block Lee's executive order.
Crenshaw stated that "the record before the Court establishes the temporary universal mask mandates adopted Williamson County school systems have been, if not already, effective in curbing COVID-19 spread," Crenshaw wrote. "Executive order No. "Executive Order No. 84 is a violation of federal law and must be yielded."
This ruling is similar to those of federal judges in Memphis, Knoxville, and Knoxville where Lee's order was also blocked. Schools in Shelby, Williamson, and Knox counties are now able to continue to enforce universal face mask policies. These rulings do not apply to any other school systems in the state.
Lee encouraged parents to send their children to school in masks to reduce the spread COVID-19. However, Lee said that it was up to them to decide what is best for their child. Lee has made it clear that he will continue to fight in court. The state attorney general appealed the Memphis and Knoxville decisions.
The executive order was first issued by Lee in August. It has been extended several times since then. The current order is valid through November 5.
The U.S. Education Department opened civil rights investigations in Tennessee and four other Republican-led States that have restricted or banned the use of masks in schools. According to the Department, these policies could be discriminatory against students with disabilities and health conditions.
Public health experts agree that masks are an important tool for virus prevention. They are most effective when worn by large numbers of people. They are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in schools.