ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Public Schools announced that its mask-wearing policy will remain in place despite the Missouri attorney general’s message saying school districts do not have authority to require masks.
In November, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled that local health orders aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri are illegal and should be lifted. As a result of the ruling, Attorney General Eric Schmitt sent letters to school districts and local public health agencies throughout the state demanding that they stop all COVID-related health orders such as mask mandates.
In a letter sent out to families and staff, SLPS Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams said the district’s attorneys’ initial interpretation is that school officials do have the authority to require masks.
“We will continue to do so because we know that every layer of prevention
works in keeping our students and staff safe,” he said.
Adams added that there the district has had “no significant concerns about wearing masks either from students or parents largely, we believe because they see that masks work.”
The letter states that the district will continue to work with local health officials, the board of aldermen, the board of education, pediatricians, and other educators on receiving up-to-date information.
“If there is a shift in guidance from our health community, we will re-evaluate our position, but for the time being, we will continue to follow protocol that we know has been effective in limiting transmission of the
virus in a school setting,” Adams said in the letter.
He also thanked the SLPS teams for their understanding and support.
The city of St. Louis still has a mask mandate in effect while a new mask mandate order was not approved in St. Louis County.