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Parents file lawsuit against Missoula schools over mask policy

Parents file lawsuit against Missoula schools over mask policy
Posted at 1:49 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 20:46:34-04

A group has filed a lawsuit against Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) and other area school districts regarding the mask use policy for students.

MTN News confirmed Thursday that Stand Up Montana, a non-profit group based in Bozeman that has been outspoken against face mask use, and attorney Quentin Rhoades, are filing the suit.

The group is comprised of parents who say they have students enrolled in MCPS, according to the filing.

The court document alleges that masks do not provide protection against the spread of COVID, and forcing students to wear masks violates several Constitutional rights.

MCPS said it will not comment on any litigation at this time.

Rhoades says Stand Up Montana does not want to take away the rights of anyone who wants to wear a mask, but says it should be a choice between parents, students, and medical providers.

He says the burden of proof will be on the school districts to prove the policies are necessary: "If we can show that the government is infringing on the right to make medical decisions, then the government has to come in, the board of trustees, has to come in and prove that they have a compelling government interest at stake in this masking rule."

Kyleva Law is representing the elementary schools and told MTN News they "certainly disagree" with the argument that mask rules violate the Constitution, and say they will be filing a response in court.

Stand Up Montana also says that in light of the Bozeman school board meeting on August 23, during which the board voted 7-1 in favor of masks, they are also preparing to file in Gallatin County against the Bozeman School Board.

Click here to read the court document (PDF).