LODI, Ohio (WJW) – A parent in the Cloverleaf Local School District in Medina County has filed a federal lawsuit against school board members over the district’s mask mandate.
The suit was filed on September 7, a few days after the school board voted to require face masks for students and staff.
On Sept. 2, 2021, the district said, “Our collective optimism for the beginning of this school year has been dimmed by the sheer number of student COVID cases and quarantines. As of yesterday, 11 days into the school year, we had 320 student quarantines, which is 93% of our total from all of last year. Our 50 student COVID cases represent 109% of the total cases we had all last year.”
The decision to require masks came following a total of dozens of student and staff COVID-19 cases in the district since the start of the school year and hundreds of people quarantined.
The parent, who has 2 children in the district, argues masks cause a variety of health problems.
According to the lawsuit, the parent argues wearing a mask reduces oxygen and increases carbon dioxide in the brain.
The lawsuit cites a paper posted on the National Library of Medicine website that is based mostly on “44 experimental studies.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus is spread by inhaling respiratory droplets from infected people. On its website, the CDC says, “COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.”
The CDC reports that data shows masks help reduce the emission and inhalation of these droplets, and also states that mask-wearing does not have adverse health effects or change oxygen or carbon dioxide levels, which the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit states the school district has a financial incentive to implement a mask mandate because of funding from the American Rescue Plan.
$4,475,000,000 was allocated to the State of Ohio by the federal government as part of ARP to help states safely reopen schools.
The suit states that the district is at risk of losing funding if it doesn’t implement a mask mandate. FOX 8 reached out to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office about the school funding claim.
His office tells us that because the state has no mask requirements in place, there would be no stipulation that would affect funding.
In a letter to parents written after the suit was filed, Superintendent Daryl Kubilis, Jr. says the district had seen reduced quarantine numbers since the mask mandate was implemented.
Kubilis told the school board at the September 16 meeting that the district would look into easing the mandate when student absences dropped consistently.
The Board of Education plans to review the data at the next school board meeting on October 6.
FOX 8 reached out to the school district for comment about the lawsuit.
They responded, “Since the matter is the subject of ongoing litigation, the Board is not going to comment further at this time.”
The lawsuit is asking that the mask mandate be rescinded and ruled as a violation of the Constitution.