EDWARDSVILLE — An Illinois judges’ ruling preventing the state from ordering school districts requiring students to wear masks will be a topic of discussion Tuesday night during Madison County’s Health Advisory Committee.

Kurt Prenzler“Some school districts over the weekend made the decision to make masks optional and others have kept them in place,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said. “The County made its decision July 21, 2021, when the Board passed a resolution recommending to the school districts to give parents a choice on whether their children should wear masks or not.”

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Last Friday, a judge in Sangamon County ruled against the governor’s mask mandate inside school buildings, in response to lawsuits involving parents and teachers from more than 150 districts.

The temporary restraining order prevents school districts from mandating to students and school employees involved in the lawsuit to wear masks, show proof of vaccinations, or be tested weekly if they object.

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The Health Advisory Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Administration Building (County Board room) in Edwardsville.

“Anyone who wishes to give public comment at the meeting can do so,” Prenzler said. “We understand this is a complicated matter.”

The judge stated students who objected to wearing masks and were excluded from school for being a close contact with someone with COVID-19 are entitled to due process.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is limited by law in delegating its authority only to certified local health departments and is not authorized by the Legislature to delegate any of its authority to any other body of government, including school districts.

“This is exactly why the County Board made the decision that wearing a mask or not in school should be a personal, or parental, choice,” Prenzler said.

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