Suburban school loses state recognition after saying masks would be optional this fall

A suburban school is in trouble after suggesting that it will make masks optional this fall.

The trouble erupted after the Supt. of Timothy Christian Schools, Matt Davidson, appeared in a video that went out to families Wednesday stating that masks would be optional.

"We've taken a prayerful and very methodical approach. We've determined that our goal, our goal is to stick with the Timothy Health Plan and thus remain mask optional," said Supt. Davidson.

This goes against Gov. JB Pritzker's executive order which went into effect last Wednesday, requiring that all students, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in all pre-K through 12th grade schools in Illinois.

"At the end of our exploration, our research, if we discover that a mask optional policy is a dead end, then we'll adjust and pivot. But again, for now, our current health plan will be our manual, which allows for choice in this issue of face coverings," said Davidson.

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In a letter sent to the superintendent Wednesday, the Illinois State Board of Education said it is removing Timothy Christian Schools status as a recognized non-public school, effective immediately.

The loss of recognition means seniors who graduate will receive a diploma that is not recognized by the state board of education.


The school and it's families won't be able to participate in the "Invest in Kids Act" tax scholarship program, and students will be ineligible to participate in Illinois elementary and high school association sports. 

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The school said it will follow the executive order and is working with the state board of education on the restoration of its recognition status before school starts on Aug. 25.

FOX 32 Chicago has reached out to the state board of education for an update on the recognition status, but have not yet received a response.