Illinois Education Association encourages districts to not make 'any rash decisions' on COVID protocols

The Illinois Education Association released a statement Tuesday encouraging school districts in the state to not make "any rash decisions" regarding COVID safety protocols until after the Appellate Court decision.

"Our students thrive on consistency and the last two years have been anything, but consistent. We do not want another disruption to our students’ learning while we are still working to bridge the learning gap created by the pandemic," said Illinois Education Association (IEA) Vice President Al Llorens.

A downstate judge granted a temporary restraining order against mask mandates for 140 school districts throughout the state last week.

The ruling came after parents from those districts filed a lawsuit against the governor and the state board of education.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker then asked the Illinois Attorney General's office for an appeal of the Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge's decision.

"The grave consequence of this misguided decision is that schools in these districts no longer have sufficient tools to keep students and staff safe while COVID-19 continues to threaten our communities – and this may force schools to go remote," said Gov. Pritzker. "This shows yet again that the mask mandate and school exclusion protocols are essential tools to keep schools open and everyone safe. As we have from the beginning of the pandemic, the administration will keep working to ensure every Illinoisan has the tools needed to keep themselves and their loved ones safe."


Attorney General Kwame Raoul said he is seeking an expedited appeal from the Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court.

"…We believe our school districts should not make any rash decisions changing COVID safety requirements until after this process plays out in our court system," said Llorens.

The IEA represents Pre-K-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago.