Dad and mom sue North Allegheny College District over lifting masks mandate

Dad and mom are suing the North Allegheny College District over its choice to raise the district’s necessary masks mandate starting subsequent week, a transfer they declare may very well be “a demise sentence” for severely immunocompromised college students.

Lawyer and district father or mother Kenneth Behrend filed the lawsuit within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Western District of Pennsylvania on behalf of about 1,500 college students lined by protections within the American Disabilities Act in an effort to halt the Sunday expiration of the district’s masks mandate.

Dad and mom contend lifting the masks mandate at a time when the speed of an infection from COVID-19 is excessive places these youngsters at pointless danger, together with some that shall be compelled to remain house to keep away from severe well being points.

“One of many youngsters specifically is severely (immunocompromised) and has coronary heart points,” Behrend stated. “His physician stated if (the masks mandate) is taken away, then the kid goes to should go house.

“The physician stated it’d basically be a demise sentence if the child will get COVID.”

The lawsuit facilities on an inexpensive lodging declare beneath the American Disabilities Act alleging discrimination towards disabled college students. Dad and mom are requesting a brief restraining order to stop the district from lifting the masks mandate till an infection charges subside.

“They’re entitled to the identical advantages … as all the opposite college students that aren’t disabled,” Behrend stated. “It’s simply to revive the established order and restore the common masking as long as the transmission price of an infection is within the substantial or excessive class in our county.”

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The North Allegheny College District’s college making coverage beforehand beforehand was tied to neighborhood transmission charges earlier than the varsity board voted Dec. 8 to cast off necessary masking Jan. 16, no matter native an infection charges.

Behrend stated the present price of an infection in Allegheny County is “the best it’s ever been.” The Facilities for Illness Management & Prevention’s COVID Knowledge Tracker confirms neighborhood transmission in Allegheny County is “excessive” with a 32.92% positivity price.

In line with the lawsuit: “The (Allegheny College) Board’s vote allowing elective masking forces the dad and mom of medically fragile college youngsters with disabilities to make the shockingly unfair or unjust choice of deciding whether or not to tug their youngsters out of in-person studying which causes psychological hurt and havoc on the kid and household, or face the quantifiably elevated danger of bodily hurt brought on by publicity to extreme sickness or demise because of COVID-19.”

The lawsuit stated the CDC, Pennsylvania Division of Well being and Allegheny County Division of Well being “all have advisable that college youngsters ought to common masks whereas at school buildings.”

“These dad and mom shouldn’t be compelled right into a no-win alternative,” Behrend stated.

Behrend is main an identical lawsuit towards the Delaware Valley College District in Scranton, and oldsters in different faculties are contemplating authorized motion, as nicely, Behrend stated.

“Dad and mom in a number of different college districts have been in contact with me within the Pittsburgh space,” Behrend stated.

A spokesperson for the North Allegheny College District declined to touch upon the pending litigation when contacted by WTAE.

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