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Wood County residents ask judge to stop Wood County Schools mask mandate

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:05 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE 10/14/2021:

A complaint filed in Wood County Circuit Court Wednesday calls for an immediate stop to Wood County Schools’ mask mandate.

The complaint was filed by Attorney John Bryan on behalf of his clients, John Davis and Felsie Pierce, parents of three Parkersburg High School students.

The parents claim their children are illegally being forced to wear masks during school hours, and that their children’s health has suffered from having to wear the masks.

Bryan says his clients call for the Court to declare Wood County Schools’ mask mandate illegal, or at least that it is unconstitutional under the West Virginia Constitution.

“The mandate they have issues is illegal. They have no authority to issue it. They say it came from the local board of health and the local board of health claims it didn’t come from them,” Bryan said.

“So where did it come from? I don’t know, I don’t know where it came from but I know it’s not legal.”

The health department said in a release, “The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department has not enacted a mask mandate for any school or business. The MOVHD did recommend universal indoor masking to the Wood County Board of Education based on CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics masking guidelines for K-12 Schools. The board of education voted to enact the mask guidelines.”

The proposal from the health department says masks will be required for all students, staff, and visitors while indoors or on a bus when Wood County is orange or red on the DHHR metrics map.

As of Thursday, October 14th, Wood County is still currently red on the map and has been either red or orange since the start of the school year.

The proposal that Wood County schools follow says the mask requirement will remain in place until Wood County is gold or better for five consecutive days and that masks may also be required if school spread is evident.

WTAP reached out to Wood County schools but they are unable to provide any comment at this time due to the pending litigation.

The proposal that Wood County Schools follows says the mask requirement will remain in place until Wood County is Gold or better for five consecutive days and that masks may also be required at individual school sites if school spread is evident. We reached out to Wood County Schools but they are unable to provide any comment at this time due to the pending litigation. Bryan says a hearing is scheduled at Wood County Circuit Court at 3:45 on Monday, October 18th.

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