A temporary restraining order making masks optional for students in the Hillsboro School District has other school districts reconsidering whether or not they want to come here for athletic contests.
“Recent court decisions have made mask wearing optional for all of our students on our buses and in our school buildings,” Superintendent David Powell wrote in a communication on Tuesday, Sept. 28, regarding a temporary restraining order granted in a lawsuit filed against the district. “This includes while participating in extracurricular activities in our schools. As a result, most of the districts with which we have indoor athletic contests and other activities scheduled are unwilling to come to our facilities for these events.”
The superintendent said the district is trying to reschedule events to be held in the opponents’ schools instead, but even that is meeting with some resistance.
“Some are thus far reluctant to host us, but we are working with all to try to maximize the opportunities for our students,” Powell wrote. “In some cases, the date of the contests will have to change to accommodate the other schools’ facility schedules.”
If games are moved, “our students, coaches, and fans will all have to abide by the rules of the host schools. This includes following indoor mask requirements.”
Powell said that while the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) have both barred the Hillsboro School District from hosting any postseason events such as regionals or sections as long as masks remain optional for students, the governing bodies have not barred Hillsboro teams from participating in postseason events at other schools.
The restraining order making masks optional was issued on Friday, Sept. 17, by Judge Douglas Gruenke in Montgomery County Circuit Court in a suit field on Sept. 16 by Mark and Emily Hughes of Hillsboro. The court denied a motion to reconsider on Friday, Sept. 24, and the case has been set for a status hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 5.