Judge suspends school mask ban in Oklahoma


OKLAHOMA CITY – A judge on Wednesday approved a temporary injunction that will put the Oklahoma man on hold on school mask warrants.

Oklahoma County District Judge Natalie Mai granted the injunction on Senate Bill 658 which came into effect in July because the ban applied to public schools but not private schools.

Mai ruled Wednesday’s hearing likely would have ended without a challenge to the law if it also applied to private schools.

The injunction will not take effect until next week.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt reacted to the ruling as a victory after the judge said any school mask requirement must have an opt-out option for parents under that law.

Oklahoma State Medical Association president Dr. Mary Clarke released a statement saying the decision is only the “first step” in helping local schools.

“We are satisfied with the outcome of today’s hearing; However, this is only a first step in ensuring that our schools maintain local control and can choose the best path for their students, teachers and staff.

It’s important to remember that while we’ve seen how easily COVID can spread in schools, the virus doesn’t stay within school walls. For every student who is infected, there is a risk of additional infections among their friends, family and the community.

We must all do our part to keep the community safe. This includes giving our schools and businesses the freedom to develop mitigation efforts that can slow the spread of this terrible virus. “

President of the Oklahoma State Medical Association Mary Clarke, MD

Several Oklahoma school districts had already adopted differently worded versions of the mask requirements, most following the judge’s opinion that they should provide an opt-out option for parents.

Tulsa Public Schools released the following statement after Wednesday’s decision:

“We are aware of the court ruling today and will continue to understand the intersection between the law and our safety protocols. In Tulsa public schools, masks will be worn by all people, to the except those with approved exemptions. Our district remains confident that our mask protocol is compliant with the law. This virus is currently ravaging our state and inflicting immeasurable damage on people in our community. Our district will continue to do whatever we do. can to protect the health of our students and team members and keep our students learning in person.

Most importantly, we continue to work closely with the Tulsa Health Department and medical advisors to ensure that our multi-level safety practices remain closely aligned with the most recent guidance and research from healthcare professionals. . Visit www.tulsaschools.org/safety for more information on our COVID-19 safety practices. “

Tulsa Public Schools

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