ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Some Chicago-area schools will not be requiring masks on Monday, after a judge issued a temporary restraining order.
Friday's order prevents 140 school districts across Illinois from requiring students to wear masks in classrooms. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has filed a request for an emergency stay.
In the meantime, some districts are letting students and parents know whether masks will be required on Monday:
- Arlington Heights said Sunday that their students will not be required to wear masks on Monday.
- Chicago Public Schools will continue to require masks, which are part of the district's collective bargaining agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union.
- Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 said that masks will be strongly recommended at school but not required.
- Crystal Lake High School said masks will be recommended, but not required.
- Elgin District U-46 will still require masks.
- Geneva Community School District 304 will be taking an "emergency day off" so that their staff can continue to work on how the ruling will affect their mitigation strategies.
- Harvard School District 50 said that masks will be strongly recommended but not required.
- Hinsdale District 181 said on Sunday they will be taking an emergency day with remote schooling.
- Huntley School District 128 said masks will be strongly recommended, but not required.
- Lombard School District 44 said masks are optional.
- McHenry School District 15 said that masks will be recommended, but not required.
- Naperville District 203 said they are consulting with legal counsel.
- Prairie Grove District 46 in Crystal Lake said that masks will be strongly recommended but not required.
- Timothy Christian Schools in Elmhurst announced this weekend that masks are optional indoors, but face coverings will still be required on school buses.
- Wheaton Warrenville District 200 said they are consulting with legal counsel.
Gov. JB Pritzker has requested an immediate appeal of the judge's ruling.
"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," Pritzker said in a statement. "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."
Parents should remember that masks are still required on school buses due to federal regulations unchanged by the ruling.
Attorney Thomas Devore, who represented families in the lawsuit against Pritzker's mask mandate, warned that he believes districts could be facing trouble if they continue to require masks.
"There could be significant liability for school districts to continue to implement and enforce requirements that this court has said violates due process of law," Devore said.