Parents sue school district over student mask mandate

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Cobb County schools are being sued by several parents over their mask mandate for students.

“It is absolutely political theater,” parent John Hanson said.

Hanson has four kids in Cobb County schools and is a plaintiff in the lawsuit over the mask mandate.

“The department of health, in conjunction with the department of education on the state level, has never said to mandate masks. They’ve always said to recommend them,” Hanson said.

Over the course of the pandemic, the district has said it will follow public health guidance.

“What we’ve done in Cobb County Schools and other school districts is really, in my opinion, criminal,” said Caryn Sonderman, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the district.

In the lawsuit parents claim, “The school district, through its mask mandate has created two separate, segregated and unequal classes of students.”

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In Cobb County, families have a choice between in-person or virtual learning. For those in the classroom, masks are required when social distancing is not possible.

“I’m standing up for all of the children in Cobb County, and hopefully this will have an impact of every school district in the country,” Sonderman said.

All of those in the district don’t necessarily share the same opinion as the parents involved in the lawsuit.

“I think the mask mandate should be in place. It hasn’t gone away. There are still people who are high-risk, even with the vaccine,” said former Cobb County teacher Aimee Gotreaux.

Gotreaux recently resigned because she did not like the way the district leaders handled COVID-19 in schools.

“I think it’s absurd that these families filing the lawsuit feel so infringed upon that they want to take safety away from teachers and staff members who just want to be doing the job they love,” Gotreaux said.