School districts react to cease and desist on mask mandates

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Missouri attorney general this week sent cease and desist orders to dozens of school districts across the state. The letters warn that districts may face legal action if they continue to enforce COVID-19-related mask warrants and quarantines.

The letters follow a ruling from the Cole County Circuit Court in Missouri. Schmitt said the ruling determined that mask warrants, quarantines and other public health orders are illegal.

The order to cease and desist is respected by various responses from the metro school districts. Here’s how the districts are reacting:

Kansas City Public Schools

Kansas City Public Schools confirm it received a cease and desist order from Eric Schmitt’s office. The district said it was working on its response.

Lee Summit School District

The Lee’s Summit School District said it did not agree with the allegations in the letter it received from the attorney general.

The district has said it will respond through its legal advisor and stand ready to defend in court its obligation under Missouri law to protect the health and safety of its students and staff. .

Kansas City North School District

The North Kansas City School District has confirmed that it has received a cease and desist order from the Missouri attorney general’s office. The school district said it informed parents and guardians of the order.

Despite the order, schools in North Kansas City have said they will continue to follow their established COVID-19 protocols. The district said the protocols had undergone a legal review and said it determined that no immediate changes were needed at this time.

However, the current Kansas City, Missouri City Council approved school mask warrants ordinance is set to expire on Jan. 1, 2022. The district has said it does not anticipate an extension of that ordinance. As a result, the district said the masks would no longer be needed for students, staff and customers after the winter break.

Masks will still be mandatory on all school buses until a federal mandate expires on March 18.

Ray-Pec School District

The Cass County Health Department has announced changes to its quarantine protocol. For the time being, it will not enforce the quarantine of students or staff who have been exposed to COVID-19.

Changes in the health department are also having an impact on the Ray-Pec school district. In a letter to parents, the district said any student or staff member currently in quarantine has the option to discontinue that quarantine. The school district said all students and staff in quarantine have been notified of the change.

The school district said it plans to continue using contact tracing and will notify parents and guardians if any children have been exposed.

The Ray-Pec School District still requires that students or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 stay at home.

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