Hearing on Class Action Suit for South Central Students Delayed


Published on September 24 2021 1:24 pm
Last Updated on September 24 2021 1:24 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The State Department of Public Health has changed language in revised health guidelines for schools which has caused lawsuits against the South Central and Odin School Districts that were scheduled for hearings Friday to be delayed.

WJBD Radio in Salem reports the attorney for students in both school districts seeking class action status on behalf of all students not to wear masks unless they are quarantined by public health officials asked for a continuance to refile the lawsuits as a result. Thomas DeVore had been successful in getting the mask ban lifted for students in the Carlyle School District and individual students in several other school districts before State Public Health Officials revised the guidance in their emergency public health order.

The attorney for the Odin School District, Christian Miller, sited the revised guidance in his answer to DeVore’s lawsuit. Miller says the new guidance requires all teachers, staff, and visitors to pre-school to 12 grade facilities to wear a mask while indoors regardless of vaccination status. As a result, Miller says the temporary restraining order lacks legal support under the Public Health Act.

Before the change, DeVore argued successfully that the masks are designed to prevent the spread of illness and there was no health regulation to require healthy students to wear masks. The South Central Lawsuit was brought by Elaine Owens as the guardian of two students and the Odin lawsuit by Ashley Holland as a parent of a student.