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Lawsuit filed against Missoula County Public Schools over mask requirement

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Missoula, Montana – As a result of a lawsuit filed by some parents against a Missoula County Public Schools, the issue about masks in the classroom is heating up.

The lawsuit is over a policy that requires masks for the first six weeks of the school year in Missoula County Public Schools.

Quentin Rhoades, a Missoula attorney, says the constitution requires a “compelling government interest” to force people to make health-care decisions they don’t want to make.

According to him, the courts state that they can only do that in a very limited set of circumstances.

His clients say that there is no scientific proof that non-sterile masks in a non-sterile environment prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

A parent of a student in the Missoula County Public School District, Erick Prather, said there was no choice but to file a lawsuit because the school board wasn’t listening to concerns from the community.

“I think this is a gross violation of our Civil Rights under the color of authority. These folks are elected, they have no business prescribing a medical device to our students,” Prather said.

A group of parents in Missoula who are against the mask mandate started a GoFundMe page to help cover legal fees. As of Wednesday, they raised over $9,000.

The school board’s attorneys said they “certainly disagree with the plaintiff’s allegations and will be responding to those allegations in court filings.”

The Superintendent’s Office for the Missoula County Public School District had no comment.

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