Carrollton facing potential lawsuit over mask mandate
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By Carmen Ensinger
A Carrollton School District parent is threatening to sue the district over the mask mandate for students unless the school board reverses their decision and lets the parents make the decision on whether or not their children wear masks in class.
At Monday night’s board meeting, Marissa Rosentreter, addressed the board about her potential lawsuit against the district. Rosentreter has hired Thomas Devore to represent her and other like-minded parents who feel the district should leave the question of mask wearing up to parents.
“I have been here multiple times and I’ve tried to explain the laws the school has been breaking and in turn I’ve been told, repeatedly, that I don’t have the right to make medical decisions for my children,” Rosentreter told the board. “In my opinion, some school board members and our superintendent clearly have an agenda that they want to follow at all costs.”
Rosentreter said she doesn’t want to proceed with the lawsuit and is giving the board one last chance to do the right thing.
“I love this town and these children too much to not try to save us all from a lawsuit one last time,” she said. “So, I would like to explain what a mask really is. By definition, a mask is a type of quarantine, which, under the health law, requires the health department to get a consent or a court order to force someone to wear a mask in school or anywhere for that matter.”
According to Rosentreter, this court order would be required for each individual person or student – not just a blanket court order for the entire district.
“That is a whole lot of legal fees that this school will be facing if you don’t stop breaking the law,” Rosentreter said.
Rosentreter said that the only reason her lawsuit has not been filed yet is because Devore was hired by 13 other school districts on the same day she hired him.
“This is on top of the eight cases that he has already won,” she said. “So, when we go to court and we win our case against Carrollton, the precedence will be permanently set in Greene County in regards to Health Code 77, Illinois Administrative Code 690.10.”
For those unfamiliar with this particular code it states that a quarantine/modified quarantine includes the utilization of any device or any procedure whose specific purpose is to limit the spread of a disease.
A mask is a type of device, by definition of the health code, thus the school district cannot compel that upon students. It can only be done by the health department, through an order of quarantine, which requires a consent of the parent or an order of court.
A procedure to limit the spread, such a test or vaccination, would be a procedure. It can only be done by the health department, through an order of quarantine, which requires consent of the parent or an order of court.
“So, it is not rocket science here to figure out that there is no winner for you guys on this end,” Rosentreter said. “One thing I have learned though, as an educator, and as a parent, and from the help of Thomas Devore and from the help of the We Stand For Our Students group, is that Executive Orders really are not law. Just the law is the law.”
Rosentreter said she had to learn to ask questions and dig deep and not just follow blindly.
“This district still has a chance to stop this lawsuit,” she said. “A simple letter such as the one I left in front of you sent out to parents would stop it. But if you choose not to send it out, then I will be seeing at least our superintendent soon, but not at a board meeting and I don’t want that. Nobody wants that. I’m giving you one last chance because I do love this town.”
Jamie Varble, another parent, was also on the agenda to speak and she piggy-backed on what Rosentreter had to say referencing the Carrollton School Board manual regarding the retaining of legal council.
“My question is, if we are paying an attorney to protect our children and their rights, why has he done his research and told you that masking children was a form of quarantine which requires parental consent or a court order,” she asked. “If Tom Devore knows this, why didn’t our school attorney know this? Especially when our attorney comes from a firm with expertise in school law.”
Varble said it is time the district took a stand.
“At what point are you going to hold your attorney accountable and assure that he starts following the law or are you more concerned about staying in compliance with the government’s illegal orders and mandates, which have not, and will not stand up in a court of law,” she said. “Each and every one of you knows deep down the government’s actions are illegal and wrong. If you continue to comply instead of standing up and fighting back, the next step will be to attack our children with illegal vaccines, testing and testing mandates. How many more lawsuits do you want at this school?”