Controversial debate over masks in Tennessee classrooms in court today

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 5:01 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2021 at 5:12 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The debate over masks in schools will be discussed in court. This morning, a hearing is planned for one of the lawsuits filed in response to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s executive order.

Lee’s executive order gave parents the choice to opt-out of masks for their child in school. Parents filed a lawsuit arguing that the executive order violates the Americans with disabilities act.

This lawsuit is one of two lawsuits over this matter.

A federal judge, who’s hearing both cases, issued a temporary restraining order on Friday, blocking Lee’s executive order in Shelby County.

University of Memphis law professor, Steve Mulroy, says the legal battle is just beginning.

“The judge will either convert that temporary restraining order into a longer-term preliminary injunction, which could last weeks or months until there’s an actual full trial on the merits or lift the temporary restraining order and say that the governor’s order can take effect,” said Mulroy.

The parents who argued the governor’s executive order violates the Americans with Disabilities Act say their kids cannot get equal access to education unless there is a universal mask mandate in place at schools.

Right now all schools in Shelby County have to wear masks while Lee’s executive order is temporarily blocked.

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