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Judge to decide on Montoursville mask restraining order this week

The Montoursville Area School District mask lawsuit by parents will continue for at least another week.

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann said he would decide Friday whether to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the district from enforcing a mask policy mirroring what the state health department mandates.

Parents of 15 district students are seeking an injunction.

District Superintendent Christina Bason ordered students to wear masks on buses and in school buildings due to the COVID-19 pandemic when acting state health Secretary Alison Beam gave that order on Sept. 2.

Parents contend in the lawsuit that Bason took action unilaterally without first having a school board meeting to allow for public input. The lawsuit also names David Shimmel, school board president, as a defendant.

The parents claim Bason’s decision is a violation of their children’s constitutional rights and that masks can be detrimental to their health.

In court papers, Chief Deputy Attorney General Karen Roman said that Beam’s order was to control the spread of the virus and that no superintendent or school board could be against it.

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