Judge grants preliminary injunction against Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order on school masking

(Live 5 News)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 9:47 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A judge granted a preliminary injunction Friday, further blocking Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s mask opt-out order.

The previous restraining order issued Sept. 3 by U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman was set to expire Friday. Her new decision allows the Shelby County Health Department to continue issuing mask requirements.

This comes after a federal lawsuit filed by three families who say their children are more susceptible for contracting severe illness from COVID-19.

Lee’s order allowed families to opt their children out of wearing masks at schools with a note, regardless of any local health orders or school mandates.

The lawsuit claims the governor’s order violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The governor said he wanted parents to be able to decide on masks.

Judge Lipman said in her decision: “The public interest certainly recognizes the rights of parents, but a universal masking requirement to protect students’ health does not significantly impact their ability to direct their education any more than would a uniform policy or requiring that students receive certain vaccinations before attending school.”

The preliminary injunction will remain in effect until a final order is issued or the case is otherwise resolved.

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