As I wrote back on January 10, 2022 “The public-school teacher unions, teachers, administrations and school boards around the country have awoken a sleeping giant and they are the parents of their students.  Parents are suing their school districts around the country and now in southwest Michigan”

Back on January 4th seven parents filed suit, on behalf of their children, in Kalamazoo County 9th Circuit Court. The parents sued Portage Superintendent Mark Bielang, all seven Portage Board of Education members, and the district over their mask mandate. Then shortly after that, the Mattawan School District parents sued their Superintendent, the school board and the school district for their mask mandate at their schools.

Now it appears it is Plainwell’s School District’s turn.  Seven parents of Plainwell students have filed suit, concerning their mask mandate policy, on February 2nd in Allegan County Circuit Court against Plainwell Community Schools their Superintendent and their school board members. In that suit they stated the case is about:

Whether Plainwell Community Schools, which is part of the executive branch, can create and enforce “Public Health Laws” absent any statutory authority from the Michigan Legislature…Whether Plainwell Community Schools can mandate students to use a medical device without parental consent, which violates Section 1504 of the Revised School Code Act 451 of 1976.

There are five counts alleged in the suit and they are:

Count I: Violation of Revised School Code Act 451 of 1976 MCL.380.1504 Compulsory Medical Treatment of pupils not authorized

Count II: Plainwell Community School exceeding its statutory authority by promulgating and enforcing a mask mandate

Count III: Violation of MCL 308.1307 {b} of the Michigan School Code

Count IV: Constitutional Non Delegation Clause MCL. 380 11a(3)(b)

Count V: Rights of parents; duties of public schools 380.10

Michigan's non delegation clause states only the Legislature can delegate the ability to write a law to the executive branch.  Thus, the legislative branch writes laws, not an executive branch in a school.  Therefore, the school code violated the separation of powers.

The schools around the state are claiming they have authority to implement a mask mandate under the "safety & welfare" statute in the Revised School Code.  That revised school code act 451 of 1976 section 380.11a(b) states the following; (b) Providing for the safety and welfare of pupils while at school or a school-sponsored activity or while en route to or from school or a school-sponsored activity.

David Delaney, the lawyer for the parents recently told me:

on January 13th, Government overreach induced by the Covid 19 era was once again checked by two separate courts. One was the Supreme Court of the United States, where in a 6-3 decision the OSHA vaccine and test/mask mandate was shot down because OSHA could not trace their mandate to any authority given to them by congress. The second was right here in Michigan where an Otsego County judge ruled that the statute that was used by MDHHS to shutdown tens of thousands of restaurants and the statewide school mask mandate during the 2020/2021 school year was unconstitutional and was severed from the Michigan Health Code.

The mask mandates being implemented by local school districts is another form of government overreach as they cannot trace their authority to any statute passed by the Michigan Legislature which is required in the separation of powers clause in the Michigan Constitution.

This suit is asking for a Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief.  They are claiming that the school is violating sec 1504 of the school code by requiring students to wear a medical device absent of parental consent.

Ask yourself this, if a school can make their students wear a medical device (mask) what can't a school do under the statute they point to as their right to force students to wear or use a medical device?

Update:  Last night the Plainwell school board voted 7-0 tonight to update their mask mandate to state:

February 7, 2022

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Please be aware that Plainwell Community Schools will be adjusting our masking requirement for students and staff effective Tuesday, February 8, 2022.  Henceforward masking requirements will be based on a per building metric of 10% or higher rates of COVID-19.  This 10% is based on total students and staff who have tested positive or have been quarantined for COVID-19.  IF a school building exceeds the 10% COVID-19 threshold metric, that facility will be required to use masks during the instructional day for 10 days but can be extended IF rates continue to exceed 10%.  Masks would not be required outside nor during extra curricular activities.  Due to Federal Mandate, masks are still required when using district transportation.

Additional exceptions include:

  • Persons in the act of eating or drinking.
  • Persons under the age of five years; however, supervised masking is strongly recommended.
  • Students with developmental conditions of any age attending school, although supervised masking is encouraged.
  • Teachers who are working with children who are hard of hearing or students with developmental conditions who benefit from facial cues.
  • A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) and Michigan Persons with Disabilities Act

If your child is exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms listed below please keep them home and get them tested to reduce the risk of any spread or outbreak. Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough or difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue, muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

We continue to ask you to report positive cases to your building administrator or administrative assistants.  It is important to have this information to continue to monitor our numbers and keep all students and staff safe.  Included in this communication are the latest COVID-19 percentages per building as well as our district attendance rate.  As of February 7, 2022, no school buildings meet the 10% threshold so masks are not required.  Masks do remain optional for those family and staff who want to wear them.

Plainwell Community Schools

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