Tennessee denied in overturning mask mandates for schools

COVID-19 masks schools
Posted at 4:28 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 17:28:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After an extensive battle, an appeals court ruled that mask mandates for K-12 are legal despite a state law trying to prohibit their usage.

The legal quandary started when the state yanked the ability of school districts to enact masking policies and transitioned it to the Tennessee Department of Health commissioner. The families of eight children experiencing disabilities sued in federal court, arguing that crossed the line of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The block on the new law went through federal court at the hand of Judge Waverly Crenshaw. The appeals court agreed to the block, denying the state's request for a stay.

"Given the complex issues involved in this case and the imminent end to the school year, we decline to stay the preliminary injunction, leaving the merits panel to make a reasoned decision on the appeal after the opportunity to hear the argument," U.S. Sixth Circuit Court judges ordered.

In the original order to block the state's law, Crenshaw argued it most likely threatened ADA compliance.

"We think it best to preserve the status quo until the merits panel can reach a reasoned decision after the opportunity to hear the argument, rather than effectively pretermitting the appeal. Because the equities point both ways, we do not think the district court abused its discretion in granting preliminary injunctive relief," the judges wrote.