Restraining order filed against Homewood school system regarding mask policy

Alabama News

(Courtesy/Homewood City Schools)

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Two Homewood parents have requested a temporary restraining order and injunction against Homewood City Schools, asking a court to stop the school system from enforcing a mask mandate for students and faculty.

The complaint, which was filed Tuesday from Dustin Vann and Shelly Whitlock Smith, comes after the school system made the decision to require masks while inside. The school year started Wednesday.

“Federal, state, and local action across the country is being predicated on data that is both incorrect and was promulgated and presented in an illegal manner,” the complaint stated. “As such, we are requesting emergency injunctive relief in the form of a Temporary Restraining Order.”

Specifically, the complaint stated that Whitlock had been “irreparably harmed” by the school system’s policy and would be holding her child out of school until it reverses its decision. Likewise, the complaint stated that Vann would be “irreparably harmed” by the policy as his children would be “unjustly psychologically challenged and forced to deal with matters of political medical tyranny while in elementary school.”

Among its many claims, the 13-page complaint stated the idea that masks can prevent viruses from spreading was “a myth” and that the “actual” number of COVID-19 cases was “far lower than the reported number.”

In response to the requested restraining order, the school system’s attorneys said that under the Alabama Code, the school board has the authority to implement policies to promote Homewood’s educational interests.

“Plaintiffs contend that the Board does not have the authority to require masks but point to no legal authority to support this contention,” the response stated. “To the contrary, as set forth above, the Alabama Code authorizes the Superintendent to recommend and Board to adopt policies ‘to promote the educational interests of the city, and rules and regulations for the conduct of the schools.'”

The 40-page response was filed by Anne Knox Averitt and Anne R. Yuengert of Bradley, Arant, Boult, Cummings LLC and went on to say that the complaint had not met the burden of proof that the plaintiffs were entitled to an injunction.

“Because the Board’s adoption of the Protocol was lawful, appropriate, and within its authority, Plaintiffs have no reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their claims,” the response stated.

Attempts to reach William McGowan, the attorney representing Vann and Smith, or Homewood City Schools’ attorneys were not successful.

The full response can be read here

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