Coronavirus, Local

Some Atlanta Parents Threaten To Sue Over Masks, Analyst Says School Districts’ Mandates Are Legal

In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a group of parents protests against masks, saying their personal rights were being eroded and their children were suffering socially. Some Gwinnett County parents have threatened to sue the school district over requiring masks.
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a group of parents protests against masks, saying their personal rights were being eroded and their children were suffering socially. Some Gwinnett County parents have threatened to sue the school district over requiring masks.
Credit (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

As students head back to class in metro Atlanta, some have to wear masks; others don’t. Requirements vary by district.

And it seems either decision can upset parents — some of whom have threatened to sue their school district for requiring masks. As of Monday night, a GoFundMe created to stop the Gwinnett County School District from imposing a mask mandate had a whopping $20,000 raised to cover legal fees. Parents and residents, in and out of Gwinnett, have donated under the belief masks should be optional for students and staff.

WABE legal analyst Page Pate joined “All Things Considered” to sort out what districts can and can’t do. Pate started by explaining that Georgia school systems have a legal right to require masks.

This comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order this month barring school districts from requiring students to mask up. Resistance is growing in school districts like South Florida’s Palm Beach County.

A few of Texas’ largest districts and college campuses are defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s similar May executive order, announcing they will require masks anyways.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.