Court Gavel

A judge will decide on Monday whether to grant a temporary restraining order to have the Canon-McMillan School District change its optional mask policy.

The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Monday in the U.S. District Court’s Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh.

A group of parents on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the school district seeking an injunction to require students and staff to wear masks.

Some of the parents who filed the lawsuit have children with disabilities that compromise their immune systems, and they argue that the optional mask policy prevents their medically at-risk children from attending school safely.

In June, the school board approved a health and safety plan that masks were optional for students and staff, but indicated it would reconsider that policy based on available COVID-19 data and information.

Since the health and safety plan was approved, COVID-19 cases in Washington County have climbed, and the county is now experiencing high transmission of the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.

The issue of a mandatory face mask policy has been contentious in the school district, and school districts throughout the region and across the country.

According to the lawsuit, one Canon-Mac school board director recently resigned “for fear of personal reprisals and threats on his personal safety,” and another resigned for the same reasons, but later rescinded the resignation.

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