Mo. AG sues school district for imposing mask mandate on children

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020, file photo, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. Attorney General Schmitt on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, filed a class-action lawsuit aimed at stopping school districts from requiring masks. The lawsuit cites several districts across the state that have enacted mask mandates in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

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UPDATED 2:50 PM PT – Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is fighting back against mask mandates for students in public schools. On Tuesday, Schmitt filed a class action lawsuit against Columbia public schools and several members of the district school board who are forcing mask mandates on staff and students. Schmitt claimed mask mandates are more harmful to students than they are helpful.

In the lawsuit, he argued “the cure should not be worse than the disease.” He pointed out students lose the ability to see facial expressions and other visual cues from their peers and teachers when forced to mask up. He expressed concern it could set them behind other children.

Schmitt added the lawsuit ultimately aims to bring power back to parents to choose what is best for their children. He also noted the risk COVID poses to children in miniscule compared to other daily activities children engage in, including riding in a car.

Schmitt has also filed separate lawsuits against St. Louis County and city, Kansas City, and Jackson County over their respective mask mandates. Schmitt joined Republicans across the country who have continued to fight to return medical decision-making back to the parents.

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