Federal judge rules against Boardman parents who opposed school mask mandate
Parents who filed a lawsuit last year objecting to a mask mandate in the Boardman Local School District have lost their case.
U.S. District Court Judge Benita Pearson on Thursday issued a ruling in favor of the school board, dismissing the case filed by the ten parents who claimed that there are risks associated with masks.
The board put the policy in place at the start of the last school year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This past February, masks were made optional in the Boardman Schools.
Parents claimed in the lawsuit that possible risks included children complaining about impairments in their educational experience, diminished communication skills, and detrimental effects to the body from prolonged exposure to low oxygen content.
In her ruling, Judge Pearson found that the parent's “theory of harm” consists largely of “speculation” of possible harms and did not satisfy the law’s injury-in-fact requirement.
The parents originally filed their case in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and were denied a restraining order against the mask mandate by Judge Anthony Donofrio.
The school board argued that the case should be moved to federal court since the parents allege that the board’s order requiring face coverings was a violation of federal law.