A private Christian school has imposed a mask mandate after it was threatened with closure by the city of Loveland, Colorado.
Now the school is filing a lawsuit against the local health department for what it sees as arbitrary and unscientific regulations.
Parents at Resurrection Christian School were told that all persons entering school buildings the next day must wear a mask, by order of the Larimer County Health Department, or their school would be closed. The order allowed for medical exemptions but made no distinction in regards to vaccination status or acquired immunity.
The same evening, school Superintendent Jerry Eshleman vowed in a video message to parents and staff to fight the health department’s edict in court. He urged parents to comply with the public health order for the time being, so that the students wouldn’t have their school year disrupted by a forced school closure while the case was being fought.
“We are fighting for parents’ right to decide to mask or not to mask their child. This is NOT political. It is not a pro vs. anti-mask or vaccination thing,” Eshleman said. “This whole thing is about our freedoms. Both those established by our Constitution, and those that we feel are rooted in our Judeo-Christian ethos.”
According to Health Department spokesperson Kori Wilford, the public health order came after weeks of consultations between health department officials and Eshleman over sanitation and mitigation measures the school was taking among its 1,600 pre-school through 12th-grade students and 160 staff members.
“RCS (Resurrection Christian School) has been a good partner working with us, but they feel very strongly about masking,” she said. “They made it very clear that they would not comply with a mask mandate.”
The school of over 1,000 students met the CDC’s minimum definition of five cases.
READ: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Colorado church restrictions
Mike Riggs, father of two high school boys enrolled at RCS, says the health department’s action brings us “one step closer to a dictatorial state becoming the church.”
“The mask and distancing mandates imposed by the Larimer County officials simply don’t make sense,” Riggs said. “For a year and a half, county officials have been preaching, ‘Follow the science!’ But the science does not support the mask-wearing.”
Riggs said he believes that if his boys were forced to wear a mask for hours during the school day, they would be harmed by inhaling too much carbon dioxide as well as by the high bacteria buildup inside the mask.
“We will keep fighting for our kids,” Riggs said.
The administration of Democratic President Joe Biden has gotten directly involved in the fight over the mandates on the state level by repaying school districts for funds lost through defying state bans on school mask mandates. Biden’s education secretary, Miguel Cardona, launched several “directed” investigations into states that have banned school mask mandates.
“The kids were so looking forward to getting back to normal this year,” said parent Christy Fagerlin. “They were so happy. Sure, we had a few cases, and here we go again with harsh restrictions and mask mandates. This time around, we ought to have known better. It seems immoral to tell us they know what’s best for our children.”
“The science and data are clear,” Richard Fagerlin added. “Kids are at little risk from the virus, and we family members are at little risk from them.