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Suits draw mixed rulings for Tennessee school mask opt-out

Teachers union calling for masks to be worn at all times in school
Posted at 9:31 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 22:31:59-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lawsuits have drawn mixed results in opposite ends of Tennessee for Gov. Bill Lee’s order that lets parents opt out of school mask requirements.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in East Tennessee declined to temporarily block the directive after another judge last week paused the order specifically for the state’s largest county, Shelby County, which includes Memphis.

Hearings are upcoming in both lawsuits over whether to block the requirement while the court proceedings continue. Both lawsuits claim Lee's order violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The court challenges are unfolding as Tennessee sees a new spike of COVID-19 through the delta variant, with a notably high prevalence among children.