Judge rejects Homewood parents’ demand to end school system’s mask policy


HOMEWOOD, Alabama (WIAT) – A judge has dismissed a request by two Homewood parents to file a temporary restraining order against the city’s school system over its mask policy.

On Thursday evening, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Carole C. Smitherman issued an order denying Dustin Vann and Shelly Whitlock Smith’s request to stop Homewood City Schools’ mask policy through a preliminary injunction and a restraining order. The two men had filed the demand on Tuesday, citing what they considered “irreparable harm” if the policy continued. In fact, Smith claimed she would keep her child out of school until the policy was overturned.

“Federal, state and local action across the country is based on data that is both incorrect and illegally promulgated and presented,” the complaint says. “As such, we are seeking an emergency injunction in the form of a temporary restraining order.”

In the end, Smitherman said neither Vann nor Smith had sufficiently proven that their request for a restraining order or preliminary injunction was necessary.

“First, the plaintiffs have presented no evidence demonstrating that they will suffer immediate and irreparable harm,” Smitherman wrote in his order. “Further, the evidence indicates that applicants can avoid the facial coverage requirement by opting for the virtual learning alternative of counseling.”

Smitherman went on to say that the school board had the authority to implement a face mask requirement and had done so based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Department. of Jefferson County Health.

“Finally, the plaintiffs have not established that an injunction in their favor would outweigh the burden on the Board or serve the public interest,” Smitherman wrote. “On the contrary, imposing the requirement for face covers could lead to an increase in mandatory quarantines related to exposure to COVID-19, which would place a heavy burden on the board of directors and the public which would outweigh the advantage of the complainants’ preference to attend the hearing. no one at school without a face cover.

Homewood town school students returned to class on Wednesday.

It is not known whether Vann or Smith plan to appeal the decision.

Read the full order here

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