HARTFORD, Conn — An emergency request to suspend Governor Ned Lamont's executive order that requires students to wear masks in schools has been denied.
A judge made the ruling in Hartford Supreme Court on November 2. The emergency request was filed by the CT Freedom Alliance who claimed children were illegally ordered by the Connecticut Department of Education to wear masks in schools. The organization argued the order threatens children with "severe, irreparable physical and emotional harm." They also added masks do not work and are the wrong way to battle COVID-19.
The state argued there is very little evidence that supports masks put children in danger. A key witness for the state, President of the Connecticut chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Robert Dudley, said there was no emergency.
According to court documents, "(Dudley) said he did not believe masks are dangerous to children from a medical point of view. He found this view confirmed by and aligned with what he called the "gold standard" in pediatric guidance, the views of the American Academy of Pediatrics that recommends mask wearing for children as a safe means of limiting transmission of the disease."
The state also offered more evidence by Department of Education employee, Stephanie Knutson. She gathers information from school health administrators as well as provide information to them.
Knutson said she surveyed school health administrators across Connecticut and 118 of 166 districts or 71%, responded. Out of 390,00 students across the state's school represented, 221 students asked for and got an exemption from the mask order, while 37 students have been refused.
The court ruled based on the evidence, the CT Department of Education did not exceed its "especially broad power." The ruling added the order in some ways was imperfect but not "irrational and dangerous." The Alliance's motion was denied.
Read the court ruling below: