Tennessee school mask mandate conference to continue in federal court this week

Posted at 12:01 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 23:16:23-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Tennessee federal judge heard perspectives Monday afternoon on whether to keep a mask mandate injunction in place.

Ultimately, Judge Waverly Crenshaw Jr. decided to uphold his decision from over the weekend, temporarily halting the new public school mask mandate ban from being implemented. This all comes three days after Gov. Bill Lee signed into law an omnibus bill that would dictate how districts handled COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including masks.

So far this year, students and their families filed suit to have their districts in Williamson County implement a mask mandate. The plaintiffs in the case argued not doing so would violate the Americans With Disabilities Act. The injunction has affected districts statewide this weekend from Knox County to Shelby County, where both districts also had suits in federal court dealing with similar circumstances.

Three Middle Tennessee districts — Metro, Franklin Special and Williamson — all sent notes to parents during the weekend to have their students come masked to school. In the last week, Rutherford County Schools dropped its mask mandate.

The court will continue the discussion in an evidentiary hearing on November 19. For now, the status quo will continue to be maintained.