Organization trying legal action in federal court
non-profit organization based in Clay County has filed a lawsuit in federal court against several school districts, including Platte County R-3 and Park Hill, because of mask requirements for children.
The Northland Parent Association, which filed the lawsuit, was formed in mid-August.
Also targeted in the lawsuit are municipalities, such as the City of Kansas City, with masking mandates for children.
Representatives of the Northland Parent Association told KSHB 41 News the goal of the lawsuit is to end mandates and let each family choose what’s right for their children.
Some of the claims made in the lawsuit have been disputed by local doctors and some infectious disease experts. Claims in the lawsuit include COVID-19 is often not severe in children; that children do not spread the virus at as high a rate as adults; that Missouri Gov. Mike Parson ended the state of emergency; that masks “offer a false sense of security” and do not provide adequate protection; and that masks can harm children.
KSHB reported that University of Kansas Health System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Stites has previously said that masks do not pose a risk to children’s health and can mitigate the spread of COVID-19. An infectious disease doctor at Children’s Mercy echoed those sentiments.
Among those named in the lawsuit are Kansas City, Missouri; Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City; North Kansas City and its mayor, Bryant DeLong; Smithville R-2 School District; Platte County R-3 School District; Park Hill School District; North Kansas City Schools; the Liberty R-5 School District; Kearney R-1 School District, and the Excelsior Springs School District.
The City of Kansas City mask mandate is currently scheduled to run at least until Sept. 23.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas responded to the lawsuit with statements on social media, including:
“As it has been since the onset of this pandemic, my primary objective when it comes to Kansas City’s COVID-19 response is to save lives,” Lucas said in the release. “No lawsuit will change that. Still, I’m saddened to see yet another lawsuit filed over masking without merit under Missouri law – just like the suits filed against us before, including the Missouri Attorney General’s own politically-motivated stunt. The city has crafted each set of COVID-19 guidelines based on clear, data-driven advice from health and scientific leaders from the White House and CDC down to our health department.”