JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -- On Aug. 5, the Johnson County Administration Building was filled with people both for and against masks who were waiting for the commissioners upstairs to vote on a new health order.
It ended up being a 5-2 vote by the Johnson County Board of Commissioners in favor of a new health order, requiring masks for kids in all grade schools in the county.
“The goal of this is to hold government accountable,” said Attorney Ryan A. Kriegshauser of the Kriegshauser Ney Law Group.
Kriegshauser is an attorney representing two clients that are remaining anonymous.
One is a Blue Valley school district middle school student who goes by M.M.C in the lawsuit and the other is the student’s parent who goes by B.C.
The attorney said the student is complaining that the current mask mandate is impacting their schooling.
“I think our client finds it very difficult to concentrate while taking test and I think there is concern that it is hurting our client academically,” says Kriegshauser.
Both his clients want to eventually see the requirement be completely removed.
According to the Johnson County Vaccine Dashboard, the number of new cases per 100,000 over the past two weeks at schools has been 356 and the percentage of positivity is at 7.6%.
The current order aligns with the health department’s recommendation, which in the past has said masking is important for kids -- especially in schools.
“One falsity we must refute is the misinformation that children don’t get infected, children don’t get sick. Nothing can be further from the truth. It is not true,” said Sanmi Areola, the Director of the Department of Health and Environment for Johnson County.
For the time being, the two clients' major concern is that this order is in effect until May 31, 2022.
That’s different from when the county previously put out orders for a lot shorter periods of time.
“Make sure our governments are not issuing nearly-a-year-long orders that are not subject to review or periodic reassessment by those government entities,” said Kriegshauser.
Despite the county order, each school district still has the final say in their requirements. That is why the lawsuit is filed against the county, not any school districts.
We reached out to Johnson County about the lawsuit and their spokesperson said they can’t comment on pending litigation.