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Fojo Law Files Five Lawsuits Challenging 18 Massachusetts School Districts’ Face Mask Mandates

Our team has filed five additional lawsuits this week challenging 18 school districts’ face mask mandates in Massachusetts as well as the Department of Elementary and Secondary Educations’s state-wide mask mandate.   These lawsuits follow several others that we filed recently, including the most recent one against a Catholic Diocese in Florida challenging its school mask mandate for students. We have been on the frontline of fighting against these mandates by school authorities, and this is evident in a series of similar lawsuits we have pursued for clients, including one against the Hollis/Brookline School District (School Administrative Unit #41), a second one against the Bedford School District (School Administrative Unit #25) in late May, the third one against Londonderry, Epping, and Timberlane School Districts in July, a fourth one against the Exeter School District, a fifth against the Merrimack Valley School District, and a sixth one, on September 7, against a New Hampshire school district’s requirement that students wear face masks while in school. Three of the five lawsuits were filed on behalf of Children’s Health Rights of Massachusetts, a Massachusetts Nonprofit Corporation: one was against the Department and the Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District, Carver Public School District, Hingham Public School District, and West Bridgewater Public School District; another was against the Department and the Cambridge Public School District, City of Cambridge, Franklin Public School District, Northborough Public School District, Southborough Public School District, Northborough-Southborough Regional Public School District, and Tyngsborough Public School District; and the third one was also against the Department and the Andover Public School District, Attleboro Public School District, Easton Public School District, and Sandwich Public School District. The two other lawsuits...

Fojo Law Files Lawsuit Challenging Florida Catholic Diocese’s School Mask Mandate

Today, our team filed a lawsuit against a Catholic Diocese in Florida, the Diocese of Venice in Florida, challenging its school mask mandate for students. This lawsuit comes hot on the heels of a series of other lawsuits filed against school districts, including one against the Hollis/Brookline School District (School Administrative Unit #41), a second one against the Bedford School District (School Administrative Unit #25) in late May, the third one against Londonderry, Epping, and Timberlane School Districts in July, a fourth one against the Exeter School District, a fifth against the Merrimack Valley School District, and a sixth one, on Sept. 7, against the Bedford School District (again) for violating the New Hampshire Right-to-Know law in deciding to order the universal masking of one of its elementary schools. Similar to the earlier-filed lawsuits, we filed this one on behalf of a large group of parents and their children attending the Diocese’s schools and are challenging the requirement that students wear face masks or coverings while in school.  This lawsuit primarily alleges that the Diocese violated a new Florida law — the Parents’ Bill of Rights — because it infringes on parents’ rights to make health care decisions for their children.   Similar to the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard last year, the action we filed last year challenging the City of Nashua’s face mask ordinance, and the action we filed challenging Governor Sununu’s closure of New Hampshire schools, this new lawsuit includes a motion for a temporary injunction against the adoption of the Diocese’s policy requiring students to wear face masks or coverings in all of its schools. The motion can be found here....

Fojo Law Files Another Lawsuit Against Bedford School District Challenging New Mask Mandate

This afternoon, we filed another lawsuit challenging a New Hampshire school district’s requirement that students wear face masks while in school or participating in extracurricular activities.  This one is, again, against the Bedford School District. This lawsuit comes after we filed one against the Hollis/Brookline School District (School Administrative Unit #41) and a second one against the Bedford School District (School Administrative Unit #25) in late May, a third one against Londonderry, Epping, and Timberlane School Districts in July, a fourth one nearly two weeks ago against the Exeter School District, and a fifth one last week against the Merrimack Valley School District.  Like those lawsuits, this one was filed on behalf of five sets of parents and their children residing in the District and challenges its requirement that students wear face masks or coverings while in school or participating in extracurricular activities.  This lawsuit primarily alleges that the District modified its reopening plan by changing the criteria for identifying an “outbreak” of COVID-19 cases in a given school without a public hearing or notice of a hearing and then, based on that unilateral change, implementing universal masking in one if its schools for 14 days.  Plaintiffs’ children were denied entry to the school this morning when they showed up without masks.  The lawsuit also alleges the school district face mask mandate violates children’s Constitutional right to an education and a parent’s fundamental Constitutional right to make medical decisions for their children and direct the care and upbringing of their children; school districts lack the statutory authority to issue face mask mandates; and any such mandates are preempted by the New Hampshire...

Fojo Law Files Fifth Lawsuit Challenging School District Face Mask Mandate

This afternoon, we filed another lawsuit challenging a New Hampshire school district’s requirement that students wear face masks while in school or participating in extracurricular activities. This lawsuit comes after we filed one against the Hollis/Brookline School District (School Administrative Unit #41) and a second one against the Bedford School District (School Administrative Unit #25) in late May, a third one against Londonderry, Epping, and Timberlane School Districts in July, and a fourth one last week against the Exeter School District.  Like those lawsuits, this one was filed on behalf of 10 sets of parents and their children residing in the District and challenges its requirement that students wear face masks or coverings while in school or participating in extracurricular activities.  In addition to a claim that this mandate violates a New Hampshire statute (RSA 126-U:4) that prohibits schools from requiring restraints on children that restrict their breathing (including any restraint that involves covering the face or body with anything) or that restrict the normal function of a portion of their bodies, this lawsuit also alleges school district face mask mandates violate a parent’s fundamental Constitutional right to make medical decisions for their children and direct the care and upbringing of their children; school districts lack the statutory authority to issue face mask mandates; and any such mandates are preempted by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ comprehensive regulatory scheme concerning communicable diseases. The lawsuit, like the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard last year, the action we filed last year challenging the City of Nashua’s face mask ordinance, and the action we filed challenging Governor Sununu’s...

Fojo Law Files Lawsuit Challenging Three More School Districts’ Face Mask Requirements

This morning, we filed another lawsuit challenging three New Hampshire school districts’ requirements that students wear face masks while in school, riding the bus, or participating in extracurricular activities. This lawsuit comes after we filed one against the Hollis/Brookline School District (School Administrative Unit #41) and a second one against the Bedford School District (School Administrative Unit #25) in late May.  Like those lawsuits, this one was filed on behalf of 17 sets of parents and their children residing in Atkinson, Danville, Epping, Londonderry, Plaistow, and Sandown, and challenging each school district’s requirement that students wear face masks or coverings while in school, riding the bus, or participating in extracurricular activities because they violate a New Hampshire statute (RSA 126-U:4) that prohibits schools from requiring restraints on children that restrict their breathing (including any restraint that involves covering the face or body with anything) or that restrict the normal function of a portion of their bodies. The lawsuit, like the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard last year, the action we filed last year challenging the City of Nashua’s face mask ordinance, and the action we filed challenging Governor Sununu’s closure of New Hampshire schools, also includes an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining each school district from enforcing its face mask requirement.  The motion can be found here. The lawsuit alleges that requiring children to wear face masks or coverings contradicts one or more of the prohibitions contained in RSA 126-U:4.  Wearing a mask requires a child to cover his or her face with certain material (whether a surgical mask or a cloth mask), mechanically restricts a child’s breathing...