NACS responds to lawsuit over mask mandate, says it’s focused on students

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Northwest Allen County Schools has responded after a group of parents sued the district over its mask mandate.

The lawsuit, filed in Allen Superior Court, argues school and state officials should stop mask mandates because life has gone back to normal and state and school officials have violated Indiana law and “exceeded authority delegated by the legislature under the Emergency Management and Disaster Law.”

The lawsuit names Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana Health Commissioner Kristina Box, Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter, Northwest Allen County Schools, Superintendent Chris Himsel, the assistant principal of Carroll High School, and board members Elizabeth Hathaway, Kristi Schlatter, and Ronald Felger as defendants.

Four parents filed the lawsuit on behalf of 12 minor children who attend the school district.

In late August, the NACS board voted to reinstate its mask mandate amid surging COVID cases in the district and hundreds of students in quarantine. School board meetings have been tense as a contingent of parents protest masking in schools.

In a statement Monday, Northwest Allen County Schools said it was focused on teaching students.

“Our focus remains on meeting the needs of our students. Eventually time and taxpayer monies will have to be redirected from meeting the needs of children to address the lawsuit filed by a few parents. We are confident that the courts will ultimately rule in our favor. Continuing to provide opportunities for students to access learning onsite in a healthy and safe learning environment remains our priority.”

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