Parents sue state school districts, some in the Stateline over mask mandate rules

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - An Illinois lawsuit is making both state and local headlines, but it won’t go to court – at least not yet. Parents are suing Governor J.B. Pritzker, the state’s public health department and 150 school districts over mask mandates.

“Those people have filed a lawsuit, and they want a judge to say ‘you’re right, school districts have done something wrong, and here’s what we’re going to do to fix it. That’s what this lawsuit about,” says Dave Kurlinkus, Hononegah School Board President.

The lawsuit won’t be litigated until all three defendants in the suit are served individually.

“You know, we’d hand it right over to the school attorney, but at this point, at this time, we have not been served,” says Winnebago School District Superintendent John Schwuchow. “Until we actually get the lawsuit to be served, to look through it and to hand it over to the school attorney, I wouldn’t be able to speculate about what the content would be at this time.”

“There’s I think a lot of emotion and frustration,” adds Kurlinkus. “Local school boards become a focus of that. That’s where a lot of this frustration I think comes out. People want to talk about it.”

In the filed lawsuit, parents argue schools can’t mandate masks or quarantine consent from families or advice from local health departments. The governor says the state will push back if the case makes it to court.

Stateline school districts named in the lawsuit include:

  • Hononegah Community High School #207
  • Belvidere Community District #100
  • Winnebago Community District #323
  • Prairie Hill Community Consolidated School District #133

“Suing school districts and the governor and the attorney general, and everybody else in order to keep people less safe? That makes zero sense to me,” said Pritzker on Thursday. “So, we’re going to push back as hard as we can.”

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