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Attorney for parents suing school district over mask mandate: 'They're violating constitutional rights'

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A group of Georgia parents filed a lawsuit Tuesday to end the Gwinnett County School District’s mask mandate.

The attorney for the parents told “Fox & Friends First” Friday they are suing the district because the governor’s executive order removed the school district’s authority to issue the mask mandate. 

According to WSB-TV, “The lawsuit also wants a preliminary injunction in place to halt the mandate until the case is decided.”

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The parents’ attorney Mitch Skandalakis said their position is the school district is “violating the children’s constitutional rights and it needs to be stopped.”

“They’re torturing these kids  — from the time they get on the bus they have to wear a mask to the time they get home they wear a mask,” Skandalakis said. “That is eight hours even when they are on the playground. These children are suffering, not learning. When they are not wearing masks properly they are being yelled at.”

Skandalakis also claimed the masks “do not work.” 

“In one time period, Gwinnett County reported 3,046 COVID cases, and Cobb County, which is mask mandate optional, 2,797 cases,” he said. “The masks don’t work.”

Skandalakis called out the “hypocrisy” of the school district for holding a gala on behalf of the new superintendent which he says had no masks and no social distancing.

“They were all laughing away, yet every day they’re torturing these kids making them wear these masks, which is unforgivable.”

The GCSD lawyers have already filed a motion to dismiss. The school authorities reinstituted the mask mandate in late July, just days before classes resumed. Administrators cited rising COVID-19 cases in the area.

The mask mandate requires all students and staff in the district to wear masks any time they are in the facilities or on busses.

Margaret Rudnick, one of the parents who filed a lawsuit against GCPS, said her son is a 13-year-old special needs boy and it is “very tough” for him to keep a mask on. 

“He has severe ADHD and, so, when you’re in a school setting and you have a mask on your face and the one thing you’re paying the most attention to is your mask, touching it, moving it, that impedes his learning in a school setting,” Rudnick said.

Another parent who filed a lawsuit against GCPS, Holly Terie, said she already witnessed one of her daughters suffer from anxiety and depression related to the mask.

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“And my younger child, she’s a Craniofacial born with a cleft lip. We spent a lot of money and a lot of medical services to help our daughter breathe efficiently. So putting a mask on child like that is just cruel and doing more harm than good,” she said.

Gwinnett Schools defended the mask mandate, releasing a statement saying, “The school district will defend its authority and obligation to follow public health guidance to protect our students and staff.”

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