As you may be aware, there is a lawsuit pending in Sangamon County involving numerous plaintiffs suing many districts across the state. The lawsuit challenges various aspects of the State’s Covid-19 requirements for schools, including mask requirements and the exclusion of close contacts. Our District is not a party to this lawsuit.
Arguments on a temporary restraining order (TRO) concluded in both cases and the judge released her decision at 5 pm on Friday, February 4, 2022. While the TRO does not apply to our District, the District is going to exercise its inherent local authority because the state is temporarily enjoined from enforcing the executive orders.
This is a temporary restraining order, which is by its very definition “temporary”, and is not a final disposition of the issues. A TRO temporarily enjoins the actions of the parties, but it is not a permanent injunction and is not necessarily a reflection of the final merits of the case. Please take note to recognize that this is a temporary status at this stage in litigation.
An appeal was expected by either side after the decision was released. Reportedly, the Attorney General is appealing this decision at the appellate court level on Monday. A decision by the appellate court will be made within ten days or less after the judge’s decision. A stay could be granted which would extend the Governor’s Mandates until a decision by the appellate court. The appellate court could uphold or reverse this court’s decision.
The District has been and remains committed to being open for in-person learning after the initial outbreak and we have remained open for in-person learning throughout the pandemic to better serve our students and families.
Consistent with the Return to School Plan originally adopted by the Board of Education prior to the executive orders, beginning tomorrow, the use of universal masking is highly recommended for all staff and students but is not required within the building.
The last couple of years have been rough, to say the least. The District is proud that we have been able to navigate through the peaks of the spread of COVID-19 and keep our schools open and in-person. We are proud of all of our employees who have sacrificed extra time and effort for our students during this global pandemic.
Thank you for all that you are doing to help us help your students!