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Formerly defiant Hutsonville school board bows to reality of mask-related lawsuits

Friday, Aug 14, 2020

* Background is here if you need it. WTWO

A local school district named in a lawsuit by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for not mandating masks alters their return plan pending an upcoming court date. […]

During a Thursday meeting of the Hutsonville school board, by a vote of 4-3, the board decided to comply with guidelines from the state.

“We had a lot of discussion and have gotten advice from our attorneys that if we don’t exactly follow the guidelines then our tort immunity disappears and that’s what the major concern was,” Kraemer said.

Kraemer said the school district does have a court date next Tuesday, and their battle over who should make decisions for schools is not over yet.

“We encourage our community to show up at that court date,” she said. “We will continue to try to fight. We’re not just giving up. We’re just going to go ahead and follow those guidelines until we can get there and present our plan.” [Emphasis added.]

* Meanwhile

Herrin High School sent home about two dozen students Thursday morning after one tested positive for COVID-19.

District Superintendent Terry Ryker said that as soon as the school was notified that the student had tested positive, officials reviewed class assignments and seating charts and quickly moved to quarantine the other students while contacting their parents to notify them and arrange for transportation.

…Adding… With thanks to a commenter

The Springfield District 186 school board voted 5-2 Thursday to adopt remote learning for most students when classes begin Aug. 31.

Thursday’s special meeting was called after the board first voted 4-3 for a hybrid/blended model at its Aug. 3 meeting. A surge in coronavirus infections across Sangamon County forced the board to reconsider starting the school year with remote learning.

The vote included an amendment that the hybrid/blended model cannot begin until at least Oct. 26.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 12:25 pm:

    We are not worried that we are going to get someone sick, but we are worried that if we do get someone sick they can sue us.

    Got it.


  2. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 12:36 pm:

    It must be shocking for someone who voluntarily took responsibility for their local K-12 education to discover that someone might try to hold them accountable for making decisions that resulted in children dying.


  3. - Chatham Resident - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    Last night Springfield District 186 reconsidered their hybrid start to the school year and voted to go all-virtual until Oct. 26 (when the 1st quarter ends).

    https://www.sj-r.com/news/20200813/district-186-reconsiders-votes-for-remote-learning


  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 12:38 pm:

    === During a Thursday meeting of the Hutsonville school board, by a vote of 4-3, the board decided to comply with guidelines from the state.===

    Liability fears > Covidiot dreams


  5. - LakeCo - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 12:44 pm:

    =We will continue to try to fight.=
    Fight…wearing masks?
    = We’re not just giving up.=
    Giving up our God-given right to let illness spread unchecked through our school?


  6. - Pylorus - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 12:44 pm:

    I found it interesting that two members of the Bushnell-Prairie City school board resigned, most likely due to their mask mandate.

    https://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/20200812/second-b-pc-school-board-member-resigns


  7. - The Way I See It - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 12:51 pm:

    The fascinating part about tort immunity is that schools have immunity for most forms of ordinary negligence, but not for willful and wanton conduct which is an utter and conscious disregard for the safety of others. The analysis: mask free=willful and wanton.


  8. - Huh? - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 12:56 pm:

    Funny how the insurance company has more power to compel wearing a face mask than the governor.


  9. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 1:17 pm:

    Yes “willful and wanton” negligence would be the issue for the board. And beyond the risk of being sued it may also invalidate their insurance if the insurer deems this to be a deliberate act. Insurance companies generally don’t want to be held financially responsible for reckless political statements.


  10. - I am Batman - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 1:17 pm:

    Having people show up in court as a group does not sway judges (at least not good ones). They should not, and do not, care about such things.


  11. - ajjacksson - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 1:18 pm:

    –Children dying–

    Look at the IDPH Data on Covid for the last two months. Children are not dying.


  12. - jimbo - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    ~~Look at the IDPH Data on Covid for the last two months. Children are not dying. ~~

    It’s almost as if the risk level of children at home with recreational activities and most vacations cancelled is not the same as it will be when they’re confined in a room together.

    Huh. Imagine that


  13. - Jibba - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===Herrin High School sent home about two dozen students===

    And do they get any instruction now? This will happen with more frequency and lead to dozens or hundreds sent home wherever there is in-person learning. How is this better than simply using properly structured remote learning in the first place?


  14. - Still Waiting - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 3:26 pm:

    It’s amazing how many parents in SE IL are perfectly willing to sacrifice the lives of teachers and other people’s children in order to express their thoughts on their own responsibility-free personal “rights” and signal their political stripes. ‘Murica


  15. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    We are paralyzed by the hope and prospect of a vaccine. It makes sense to hunker down and hope that a year from now we will have tools to fight this scourge.

    America has functioned with worse diseases in the past. Then we had no choice but to move forward, take the losses, and pray for deliverance.Today that attitude is foolhardy.


  16. - zatoichi - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    As a school board member I might get sued for my decisions. What? Many organizations are facing the exact same tort choice.


  17. - CEA - Friday, Aug 14, 20 @ 4:01 pm:

    ===We are not worried that we are going to get someone sick, but we are worried that if we do get someone sick they can sue us.===

    And three out of seven members of the school board aren’t worried about either.


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