Third family joins lawsuit against Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order on masks

Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 3:28 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A third family has joined a federal lawsuit against Tennessee Governor Bill Lee over his executive order on school mask mandates.

There were two families suing Lee over his executive order but now a third family has added their names to the list.

The mother of a 14-year-old Collierville girl has joined the suit.

All three families say their children are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and say a universal mask mandate is needed at schools.

There’s already been an injunction hearing for the case.

Both the plaintiffs and the defendant had the chance to enter evidence and call witnesses to prove their case.

“We’re always argued that this case has always been about kids with physical disabilities who are unable to attend school because they are at a high risk of death or severe illness because of COVID,” said Lawyer Brice Timmons.

On the other side, the state argued the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act allows students and families to file due process complaints to accommodate alternative learning plans.

But the plaintiffs say that act only includes students with disabilities that would need specialized learning, not all students with disabilities.

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking Lee from enforcing his executive order in Shelby County. So, right now all students in the county have to wear masks.

That restraining order is set to expire on Friday.

A legal expert says the judge could extend the restraining order, issue a preliminary injunction or let the order expire without any action on Friday.

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