PHOENIX — Defying the law in the name of health. More than 28,000 Phoenix Union High School District students return to class Monday. Nearly all of them will be required to wear a mask.
“We received a lot of thank you’s for what we're doing,” said Richard Franco of the Phoenix Union High School District.
But not everyone wants to be told what to do. Teacher Douglas Hester filed a lawsuit in Superior Court Monday hoping to overturn the mask mandate.
“They have to choose between a law that has some questionable effectiveness around it and what they think is best for students and staff safety,” said Chris Kotterman of the Arizona School Board Association.
The Arizona School Board Association says more districts are considering implementing their own mask mandates. Tucson Unified will decide Wednesday.
“School district administrations are acting like activists; they're not upholding the law,” said State Representative Joseph Chaplik (R) Scottsdale-District 23. Scottsdale state representative Joseph Chaplik wrote the bill which prevents city county and state governments from imposing mask mandates.
Chaplik warns he thinks that the districts should back off.
“I think there's going to be consequences for violating the law there should be word Society of law,” Chaplik said.
At the state capitol, some lawmakers are already talking about penalizing districts, taking away state funding, if they defy the mask mandate law. The attorney general, who enforces the law, has not commented on mask mandates. So for now, it will be left to a judge to decide whether school districts need to obey the will of the legislature.
The tension over masks comes as Arizona reports 1,974 additional COVID-19 cases and 30 more deaths.