The parents of a Pike County student and another man have filed a federal lawsuit against the school district over the school mask mandate.
Pike County School Board attorney Neal Smith said he had not seen the complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Oct. 13 and could not comment.
A student identified as N.R. through her parent, Mikey Ratliff, and a man named Levi Newsom filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court at Pikeville against the Pike County Board of Education and the Superintendent Reed Adkins.
The district has a required mask mandate for all students and staff riding buses and in school buildings regardless of their vaccination status when the COVID incidence rate map is in the red or orange. When the incidence rate map is in yellow or green for three or more consecutive days, masking is encouraged and recommended but will be optional.
Ratliff is aggrieved by the immediate and irreparable injury, loss and damage suffered by N.R. because N.R. is required to wear a mask pursuant to the School Board’s mask mandate, which is not only unsupported by science, but which also results in the possible resulting measurable drop in oxygen saturation of the blood on one hand and the increase in carbon dioxide on the other, the lawsuit said.
The district’s implementation of the mask policy unlawfully deprives students and others in school of constitutionally-protected interests without due process of law, the lawsuit maintains.
The Republican-led General Assembly passed a bill during the most recent special session that eliminated the statewide mask mandate in Kentucky public schools.
After the bill took effect last month, 96 percent of Kentucky’s 171 school districts said they would continue to require all students, staff and visitors to wear masks, Kentucky School Boards officials said.