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Phoenix Union mask mandate not illegal, will be once Ducey order goes into effect

Posted at 11:46 AM, Aug 16, 2021

PHOENIX — In a court ruling Monday, the mask mandate at the Phoenix Union High School District is not illegal, but will be once a new law goes into effect.

Judge Randall Warner declined to immediately put the brakes on the Phoenix Union High School’s mask requirement, but is still allowing teacher Douglas Hester to continue pressing his challenge of the district’s policy.

Warner said the new law doesn’t take effect until Sept. 29. At least 11 districts accounting for 140,000 students and more than 200 schools have defied the law by imposing their own mask rules.

LIST: Valley schools with mask, vaccine mandates

A new report from UArizona's Joe Gerald states that Arizona could see 300+ coronavirus deaths a week by the end of month.

The case has not been dismissed by the court and can be amended in the next 45 days.

Previously, Governor Ducey has stated that mask mandates at schools are "toothless, unenforceable, and will not hold up in court."

Read the full court document below.

Phoenix Union High School District responded to the decision Monday saying in part:

"Phoenix Union is grateful for the Maricopa County Superior Court’s ruling. We remain fully committed to creating the safest in-person learning environment possible. Today’s decision is much larger than PXU – it has the potential to impact the 1.1 million students who call Arizona’s public schools home, as well as their families and the broader community. This decision will allow districts across the state to continue to prioritize the health, safety, and wellness of their staff, students, and families. The science is clear – the two most effective ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19 are the vaccine and universal masking while indoors. We will continue to provide full access to the COVID vaccine on a rotational basis on our campuses weekly."