KCS parents sue Gov. Lee and Knox County over mask policy

Parents are suing Governor Bill Lee and Knox County over the lack of a mask mandate in Knox County schools.
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 12:07 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2021 at 12:21 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The parents of three Knox County School students are filed a federal lawsuit to sue Governor Bill Lee and Knox County over the current lack of a mask mandate.

All three children have medical conditions that make them more susceptible to catching COVID-19. Their parents all decided to enroll them in virtual learning, due to the fact that children in their classes are not required to wear masks.

Two of the three children are too young to get the vaccine.

Court documents obtained by WVLT News, show that the plaintiff’s quote Lee himself on the effectiveness of masks, with a statement he made at a press conference on August 25.

“Accordingly, the entirely reasonable modification being sought in this case is community masking: protection of selves and others. Indeed, Governor Lee himself declared: “If you want to protect your kid from the virus or from quarantine, the best way to do that is to have your kid in school with a mask.” – Governor Bill Lee, speaking about the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the parents stated in the complaint.

The parents argued that they don’t want to make changes to the educational programming, they just want their children to have the fundamental access to the school building itself.

“Sending these students home, and providing a “virtual education,” as learned in 2020, resulted in substantial harm to countless students across the state. It is simply not a reasonable modification that allows them equal access,” the parents stated in the complaint.

The parents cite that Lee’s Executive Order 84, poses parents with an impossible dilemma.

“Risk their life to obtain the basic fundamental right to education or stay home and fall further behind academically, socially, and mentally from lack of access to school,” the parents said.

They are suing on two counts; discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act and discrimination under section 504.

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