NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A federal judge has issued an injunction preventing the state to restrict mask mandates in schools, according to a court order issued Sunday.
The lawsuit was filed by the parents of eight students who attend school in Tennessee and claims the children have disabilities that make them medically vulnerable to COVID-19.
Masks will continue to be required for students and staff in Metro Nashville Public Schools following an order issued Sunday.
Director of Metro Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle issued a statement saying on Friday, lawyers representing students with disabilities filed a lawsuit looking to block the new law from taking effect, claiming it would potentially violate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
The full letter sent to MNPS families and staff can be found below:
MNPS Families and Staff,
This message is to inform you that masks will continue to be required for students and staff in Metro Schools.
As you may be aware, Governor Bill Lee signed into law recently passed legislation that prohibits mask requirements in schools.
On Friday, lawyers representing students with disabilities filed a lawsuit seeking to block this new law from taking effect because it would potentially violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Today, the United States District Court of Middle Tennessee issued an order requiring that the status quo be maintained. For MNPS that means masks will continue to be required until further notice from the court.
Our strong desire is to get to a point where masks are no longer necessary, and our classroom environment looks like it did back before the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, there is still COVID transmission throughout our community, and we are still seeing dozens of cases a week of students testing positive for the virus. Additionally, the CDC still recommends that K-12 schools adopt universal masking rules to reduce transmission in buildings and while students ages 5-11 have begun receiving their COVID-19 vaccine if their parents want them to, it takes five weeks from the first dose for a person to be considered fully vaccinated.
We would ask for your patience and understanding of the school staff tasked with enforcing these mask requirements until these legal issues can be resolved.
On Sunday, the Franklin Special School District announced it will also be upholding its mask mandate for students, employees and visitors.