JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a class action lawsuit against school districts forcing a mask mandate on schoolchildren and teachers.
The lawsuit, which is a reverse class action that was filed Tuesday morning, names Columbia Public Schools, the Board of Education for the School District of Columbia and their board members, and the superintendent for Columbia Public Schools as defendants.
It's a move that could have wider implications if the courts agree.
“Forcing schoolchildren to mask all day in school flies in the face of science, especially given children’s low risk of severe illness and death and their low risk of transmission. Additionally, forcing schoolchildren to mask all day could hinder critical development by eliminating facial cues and expressions,” said Schmitt. “We filed this suit today because we fundamentally don’t believe in forced masking, rather that parents and families should have the power to make decisions on masks, based on science and facts. I am committed to fighting back against this kind of government overreach. Americans are free people, not subjects.”
Schmitt claims forcing school children to wear masks goes against the science of the virus because children have low risk of severe illness and death.
He's seeking class action status which would make the decision apply to at least 50 other school districts.
Health officials have called for masks in classrooms to prevent kids from getting sick or carrying the illness home to their families.