Chicago schools resist mask ruling
A downstate judge ruled Friday that Illinois districts can't make students wear masks in school as part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's mask mandate.
- The judgment responds to a lawsuit filed last year against more than 100 school districts, but the judge says the ruling applies to all districts in the state.
Yes, but: CPS officials say masks are still mandatory, as the ruling "does not prohibit CPS from exercising its authority to continue its COVID-19 mitigation policies."
- The CTU agrees with CPS (wait, these two agree on something?) and notes that the ruling does not supersede labor contracts such as the CPS-CTU January safety agreement requiring masking.
The other side: Some districts, including Arlington Heights, are today going "mask-optional" but calling their schools a "mask recommended environment."
What we're watching: Chicago Catholic Schools superintendent Greg Richmond on Saturday emailed parents saying they "will continue the current mask policy for now."
- But outside Chicago, at least one Catholic school president in the Springfield Diocese announced that masks were recommended, "however not a requirement."
What's next: Gov. Pritzker has asked the attorney general's office to immediately appeal the decision.
- "The grave consequence of this misguided decision is that schools in these districts no longer have sufficient tools to keep students and staff safe while COVID-19 continues to threaten our communities — and this may force schools to go remote," Pritzker said in a statement.
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