Judge delays decision in Boardman Schools mask lawsuit

Local News

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – A decision was not immediately made Wednesday following a lawsuit filed by a parent group in Boardman against the district’s mask mandate.

Calling themselves the Boardman Ohio Parents Group, a group of 10 parents filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Boardman School Board and Superintendent Timothy Saxton.

According to court documents, the lawsuit seeks a restraining order to the district’s mask policy alleging that it was implemented without authority, is unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and not supported by substantial, reliable evidence.

Judge Donofrio said Wednesday that a decision won’t be made until at least next week. He is giving the group time to submit more documentation. The district’s mask mandate is in effect until then.

Another hearing in the case is set for January 27.

The lawsuit contains as one piece of evidence a ’60 Minutes’ interview excerpt where Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and chief medical advisor to the President of the United States, said “There is no reason to be walking around wearing a mask.”

The court filing goes on to detail Fauci’s comments on how COVID-19 is spread through droplets and that masks may block some but “they do not provide the level of protection people think they do.” And other comments from 2020 where Fauci and representatives from the Centers for Disease Control minimized the effectiveness of masks, the court documents stated.

A July study from the CDC and one from Stanford University were also cited in the case as well as others that looked at mask wearing and other mitigation efforts in schools.

Boardman Schools issued a short statement in response to the lawsuit Tuesday:

Masking is working for us. It has limited quarantines and is keeping our kids in school.

Boardman Local Schools

The parent group is represented by John N. Zomoida, Jr. of Anthony & Zomoida, LLC. Complainants in the lawsuit are listed as the following:

  • Richard Wyant
  • Nick Coiro
  • Angela Nespeca
  • Joy Horton
  • Brandon Berg
  • Joel McKendry
  • Dwight Kent McMurray
  • Christine Gardner
  • Michael Black
  • James Hazenstab

Board members named in the court filing include:

  • Jeffrey Barone
  • Victoria Davis
  • John Fryda
  • John Landers
  • Frank Zetts

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