The lawsuit filed by PJI says the district's facial covering policy violates the parents' fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children, the children's fundamental right to privacy, and that it ignores how facial coverings have harmed many school children who have complied with such orders.
"Many of the children develop conditions due to wearing facial covering, such as severe anxiety, difficulty breathing, persistent headaches, dermatological issues, and eye infections," says PJI attorney Alexander Bumbu. "Some of these conditions were new; others were exacerbated by wearing facial coverings."
New provisions of Florida law were enacted this summer to require all school district facial covering policies to unconditionally allow parents to opt their children out of wearing facial coverings at school.
"On August 18th, the school district eliminated the parental opt-out and dishonored already permitted opt-out letters," says Bumbu. "So the school district went from complying with the law to not complying with it, and they also dishonored the thousands of opt-out letters that parents had already submitted, leaving those parents scrambling with what to do for their children. And those parents had only five days to comply with the new policy."
The School District of Palm Beach County did not respond to AFN's request for comment.
The lawsuit was filed in Florida's 15th Judicial Circuit court, which is the state circuit court covering Palm Beach County.