Judge blocks Tenn. governor's order allowing students to opt out of mask mandates

A federal judge on Friday blocked Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's (R) executive order allowing students to opt out of school mask mandates.

U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman ruled in favor of two students and issued a temporary restraining order against the governor’s order in Shelby County.

"Plaintiffs have identified ways that they have been excluded from participating in school programs and activities, including from physical education classes, and socializing with their peers when within the school buildings and at lunch," Lipman wrote in the ruling.

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The two students who brought the court case against the executive order are ones who are more vulnerable to the coronavirus due to medical conditions.

The judge concluded the plaintiffs proved their exclusion from some activities in school is due to “their extreme medical vulnerabilities - in other words, due to their disabilities.”

The students’ rights have been violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act due to the governor’s order, according to the judge.

One of the students had to stay at home after catching the coronavirus from an unmasked student, the decision states.

“Defendant Shelby County is ORDERED to enforce its Health Orders without exception for Governor Lee’s Executive Order No. 84,” the ruling reads.

The mask mandate in schools fight has been waged across the country with lawsuits both for and against riddling the court system.