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The Final Masking Showdown Is ON in New York: What I Told My Kids' School

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Many parents in New York, where I unfortunately live, are fed up with the outrageous masking rules for our kids. We won big yesterday when the Supreme Court in Nassau County struck down Mommy Dearest Gov. Hochul’s unconstitutional mask mandate for school children. But nothing is ever that easy in New York. Parents woke up this morning to emails from schools saying “too bad, mask them anyway because we said so” directives. Read this and weep for the absolute clown show that is our government

The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al.  This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.

It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling.  Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.

Oh. The state will appeal, so you peasants keep on following the unconstitutional rule. Are they kidding? This is the time to say, no. Absolutely not. Here’s what I sent back in response.

There was an intent to appeal filed but no appeal yet. Please review the article I sent. There is no stay in place. They may have one by tomorrow or they may not. The mandate is dead today…[Lawyers who brought the suit] do not believe the state will actually appeal and it’s a wait and see but there is no appeal filed. You can confirm that in the article I attached that says “The attorney general’s office immediately filed an intent to appeal, but acknowledged Tuesday morning that the mandate was, for now, not in place until a hearing could be held.” Filing an intent to appeal does not do anything but start a clock ticking. As of today all students are not required to wear masks and mine is opting out. If that should change we will deal with it but that’s my direction to her on my authority as a citizen with rights in NY that have just been confirmed by the Supreme Court. Any attempt to force her into a mask will not be acceptable and I will seek any legal means to remedy it. I wish this was not where we were and that this type of friction would not be necessary but as a parent there are lines in the sand. This is mine.

I haven’t had a response. My daughter is maskless and she’s the only one. One teacher needed me to send her an email about it which I happily did. It read:

[Redacted] will not be wearing a mask today. The Supreme Court has struck down the mandate for school children and there is no appeal filed yet. The state has filed an intention to appeal which is not the same thing as an appeal and as a result the matter has not been heard and there is no “stay.” We will be exercising our constitutional rights to be maskless today and every day that the mandate is no longer in place. She is acting on my authority as her mother and a citizen of NY with constitutional rights that were affirmed by the Nassau County Supreme Court. If you have concerns you may take them up with the superintendent who has been informed of this decision.

The teacher promptly sent my daughter to the principal’s office. But she wasn’t detained and she was let go without any punishment. I believe this is evidence that the only thing that needs to happen to end the masking is to stop complying. It helps that the mandate has been declared unenforceable because if they try to enforce it on my daughter they risk a lawsuit they can’t win. It may only be for today, but today, she was free. I’m very proud of her for being the only one in school to push back against this tyranny. And if her teachers were students of history, they’d be proud of her too.

Related: Court Strikes Down New York State Mask Mandate

While our town is small, in other surrounding larger towns, the kids are rebelling at a higher rate. Some schools are reportedly calling the police on children. Local radio host Shannon Joy has been keeping tabs on all the schools behaving badly. “Massive chaos across NYS,” she wrote. “Many kids are at school unmasked, praise Jesus! Others are sadly having their civil rights blatantly violated with districts acting in contempt of court. Either way freedom wins today.” Parents have reported that police have been called in Brockport, N.Y. because of kids refusing to mask.

The attorneys who worked on the case say that what schools are doing is unlawful. Michael Demetriou tweeted out, “No, the Dept of Education cannot enforce anything above the ruling. No, the Department of Health cannot enforce anything above the ruling. No, the Governor has not filed an appeal…Yes, any school not aligning with the ruling is breaking the law as you now have a choice in NYS.”

PJ Media has attempted to reach out to Ontario County and Monroe County sheriffs for comment on whether or not they will enforce the now illegal mask mandate. We received no response from Monroe County. The Ontario County sheriff was in meetings at the time of publishing. If either responds, we will update the article. Under the law, they have no jurisdiction to enforce an illegal mandate that has been struck down by a state Supreme Court judge as “void and unenforceable.” You can read the ruling below.