Parent Group Sues New York State to Remove School Mask Mandate
A student and parent advocacy group that is located right here in Western New York has filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court against Governor Kathy Hochul, The New York State Department of Education, and the New York State Health Department to force the state to end the make mandate that remains in effect for schools.
The mission of WNY Students First, the group that has spearheaded this lawsuit, describes its mission as ensuring that students are always the primary concern for district decision makers and that the board composition is adequate to do this.
To that end, their 46-page lawsuit seeks the immediate end to the school mask mandate. New York State officially ended its controversial mask mandate for indoor public facilities last week but allowed it to remain in place for schools throughout the state. This decision impacts hundreds of thousands of New York youth and educators.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim:
There has never been any scientific basis for arguing that masks worn by children could stop the spread of a viral particle 1/880th the diameter of a single human hair. The CDC itself concluded, based on more than a dozen randomized controlled trials, that face masks have no significant effect on transmission of influenza particles—which are spread through the same aerosol mechanism as Covid. High quality studies comparing masked groups of students with unmasked groups have uniformly shown that masking children in schools does not reduce Covid spread. Rather than consider—or even acknowledge—these studies, the DOH and the CDC cite to low quality, cherry-picked studies from which no causal effect of masking can be drawn because they are not randomized controlled trials.
-Elizabeth Wolstein, Attorney for Plaintiffs (via Verified Court Petition)
Some advocates lament the school mask mandate as students are required to be in their mask for up to 8 hours a day without a mask break. The State Supreme Court has not yet scheduled a date for a hearing on this lawsuit. We will update this story once a suit is scheduled.