Parents of Minnesota students file suit seeking mask mandate

Published 4:08 am Monday, September 6, 2021

ST. PAUL — Some parents of students at Minnesota K-12 schools that have not required face coverings have filed a lawsuit asking the governor to enact a statewide mask mandate because of the spike in COVID-19 cases.

The complaint filed in Ramsey County Friday by a group calling itself “Parents Advocating for Safe Schools” cites a provision in the Minnesota Constitution regarding rights of students to receive an “adequate” education.

“This fundamental right to an adequate education requires at a minimum that Minnesota students be allowed to attend schools that provide a healthy and safe environment,” the lawsuit states, adding that schools that do not impose mask mandates do not meet that threshold.

The suit seeks a court order requiring Walz to declare a new peacetime emergency to address the pandemic and issue an executive order that all school districts and schools in the state “impose and enforce a mask mandate,” Minnesota Public Radio news reported.

“We believe that mandatory masking is essential to the safety, health and well-being of our children, as well as staff members at schools, and those visiting school sites,” said Dr. Loucresie Rupert, a Winona physician and one of the parents involved in the suit.

Teddy Tschann, spokesman for Walz, said the governor is reviewing the complaint and “will always prioritize the health and safety of Minnesota students, and he expects the Legislature to help him.”