Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor said his office plans to file a lawsuit against public school districts that appear to be in violation of a recently passed state law that bans mask mandates in Oklahoma schools.
O’Connor said something should come out as early as next week because some districts are openly violating state law. He said he isn’t suing them because they want to protect their children, but he is suing them so the courts can clear up the debate between recently passed SB 658 and what that means for local districts.
“Look, these are not bad people,” O’Connor told FOX23. “They want to do everything they can to protect their kids in the best way they feel is necessary. We need the courts to settle this issue for both sides of the argument, and it is my job to enforce and defend the laws of the state.”
FOX23 asked O’Connor about suing districts shortly after Tulsa Public Schools administrators decided to strengthen mask requirements for students and staff starting next week. TPS will only grant medical exemptions. It will not be up to personal or parental preference. O’Connor said not only does he plan to sue, but his office will ask for an injunction against all districts issuing mask mandates in the state while the issue is pending in court.
When asked about how long a legal battle could take place, O’Connor said it will be an urgent matter that the courts will need to take up soon to settle the growing controversy between what the legislature passed and what some local school boards are requiring. Because it could take a while to hash out while the pandemic continues, his office will ask the court for an injunction to at least pause anymore mandates from being implemented.
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