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Group of Avon Lake parents hire attorney to fight mask mandate in schools

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 9:16 PM EST
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AVON LAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - A group of Avon Lake parents has decided to take the fight to school district administrators and have hired an attorney to fight a mask mandate that is in place throughout the school district.

The parent group is raising funds on the GoFundMe website and has hired prominent attorney Warren Mendenhall, who said he will initially reach out to district officials to see if a conversation can be started regarding the mask mandate.

“Masks need to be a choice of the parent, that’s fundamental, it is the parent’s choice whether to wear them or not and to consider the risks and benefits,” Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall went on to say that masks are ineffective unless they are perfectly fitted and that schools simply do not have the ability to achieve that.

The Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines just released on Jan. 6, however, still recommend that all students, teachers, and staff wear masks in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status.

Bob Scott is the superintendent of the Avon Lake schools and said he understands that not everyone is going to agree with every decision that is made, and points out that on the other end of the spectrum there is a group of parents that believes the schools should not even be open at this point.

Scott said that the best course of action right now is for the district to follow the advice of the medical professionals.

“We work with medical professionals around the state, people from the Cleveland Clinic and from University Hospitals, and these are local people who have boots on the ground here every day,” Scott said.

The other clear issue to Scott is that he has to consider the health and safety of the teachers and staff and what that means for keeping the doors of the district’s building open, something he insists remains a high priority.

“A week or two weeks down the road, because of spread among teachers, I have to close the schools and go remote because I can’t keep kids safely in the buildings, I can’t take that chance,” Scott said.

Mendenhall however said the masks, in some cases, are doing more harm than good as kids struggle to deal with socialization issues.

“They really need to be able to see people speaking, people emoting, people responding to them properly and all of that goes out the window,” he said.

The goal right now Mendenhall said is to open a dialogue with the administrators at the Avon Lake Schools and that he does not want to take this to litigation, but said that he believes parents are prepared to litigate if necessary.

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