Masks are now optional for children in the Hillsboro School District after a temporary restraining order granted Friday afternoon, Sept. 17, in Montgomery County Circuit Court in a suit filed against the district by Mark and Emily Hughes of Hillsboro.
The restraining order will remain in effect until further order of the court, according to Judge Douglas Gruenke.
The suit comes after Judge Gruenke granted a restraining order two weeks ago in a suit filed by Jay and Heather Greenwood prohibiting the school district from quarantining close contact students without an order from the health department.
“This is merely an extension of that particular question,” attorney Thomas Devore representing the Hughes argued. “According to the health code, a mask is a type of device to limit disease transmission and considered a quarantine.
Attorney Luke Feeney, representing the school district, argued that masks are not a modified quarantine, but instead, “specifically included in the definition of ‘monitor,’” but when queried by the judge as to whether they are intended to “limit disease transmission” he agreed that they are.
Feeney further argued that the school district has authority to regulate its buildings from the school code.
“The district is not attempting to require masks outside of its buildings and busses,” Feeney said.
“Masks are a device to limit disease transmission and do fit with the definition of modified quarantine,” Judge Gruenke said in granting the restraining order, concluding that requiring them is “violating the due process of every student there.”
Before hearing arguments on the temporary restraining order, the judge granted class action certification for the suit to include all 1,583 students in the school district, which did not contest to the class action certification.