LODI, Ohio — A parent upset with a mask mandate handed down by the Cloverleaf Local School district where her two children attend has filed a federal lawsuit against the measure, which states masks aren't effective at preventing COVID-19 and actually cause harm to individuals who wear them.
The district has schools in Lodi and Seville. In January, the district offered vaccinations for its teachers—the first district in the state to do so.
According to the lawsuit, the district announced that masks would be optional except for on school buses in it's 2021-22 back to school plan. However, that was changed in early September when the district mandated masks due to the hundreds students in quarantine just 11 days into the school year.
The parent took exception to the mandate and filed suit against the board of education and superintendent.
To argue against the effectiveness and safety of masks, the lawsuit has statements from an expert in the field of industrial hygiene who "has testified as to the futility and danger caused by an individual wearing a mask in order to avoid transmitting or becoming infected with COVID-19."
The lawsuit seeks to stop the mask mandate, stating that the requirement "causes immediate and irreparable harm to students, staff and community" due to a "measurable drop" in oxygen saturation and an increase in carbon dioxide, which "contributes to an increased noradrenergic stress response, with heart rate increase and respiratory rate increase and, in some cases, a significant blood pressure increase."
The lawsuit also states that standard masks aren't an effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19 due to the gaps on the side of the masks and the size of the virus particles that can flow freely through it, and "for many reasons, personal protective equipment (PPE) is the least desirable way to protect people from very small airborne aerosols." Instead, the lawsuit says respirators or sealed masks must be worn and facial coverings are not comparable.
As part of the lawsuit, the parent seeks to overturn the mask mandate and declare the mandate "in violation of the Constitution."
The district released the following statement regarding the lawsuit: "Since the matter is the subject of ongoing litigation, the Board is not going to comment further at this time."
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