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Catholic school in Lansing, Mich., sues to block mask mandates

Oct. 30, 2020
Resurrection School argues that state and county orders requiring students to wear masks are a violation of their rights.

A Catholic school in Lansing, Mich., has sued state and county officials to stop them from enforcing mask mandates.

The Lansing State Journal reports that Resurrection School contends in the lawsuit that requiring Michigan students to wear masks in school classrooms is forcing students and families to "either violate their sincerely held religious beliefs or face criminal prosecution."

The lawsuit, filed on the school's behalf by the Great Lakes Justice Center and American Freedom Law Center, argues that orders from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon and Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail violate the U.S. Constitution and state law.

Most of the arguments in the lawsuit focus on the issues of religion and freedom of speech.

The lawsuit asserts that for “many individuals,”  an excessive mask mandate is “a symbol of oppression and an attempt by the government to control the citizenry.”

The health department has declined to comment on the lawsuit. Vail, Gordon and other health officials and experts have repeatedly stressed the importance of wearing masks as a tool to help control the spread of Covid-19.

Resurrection School serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Under orders Gordon and Vail issued earlier this month, elementary school children must wear masks throughout the entire school day.

The lawsuit takes issue with those mandates not making exceptions when children are “safely distanced from one another” and says they affect students’ ability to learn and to “fully engage in religious education.”

The mask mandates limit “normalization, friendship, an enriching education and a healthy spiritual life,” the lawsuit contends.

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