Parents suing Madison City Schools superintendent; want end to mask mandate

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 5:55 PM CST
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MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - For years now businesses and schools have chosen to mandate masks, and now one group of parents says enough is enough.

Nine parents are coming together to sue Madison City Schools in order to get their mask requirement lifted permanently.

These parents say they have spoken up at board meetings, called city officials and nothing is changing. They say school administrators should not be able to require their children to wear masks, and they are hoping a judge agrees.

For much of the school year, masks have been required at Madison City Schools. A mandate has been in place the whole 2021-2022 year so far, for elementary and middle schools in the district.

A fact that now has a group of parents suing the district’s superintendent.

“We feel like a lot of people want to know why it’s coming to this and why we’re taking such “drastic measures,” we have exhausted all of the chains of command,” parent Candi Andrews, who is a part of the suit, said.

Andrews says her son who attends Madison City Schools has ADHD and was given an exemption to the mask mandate. However she says, he is too afraid to not wear one.

“There’s teachers in the school that aren’t his teachers would have not the privileged information to his individualized plan, they would be calling him out. And he just doesn’t want to spend his first year in middle school, fighting people because he’s not wearing a mask,” she explained.

Shema Rizo, another parent says the district should not have the right to mandate masks.

However, State Superintendent Eric Mackey has stated that this is up to each district, which is something Rizo wants to be changed.

“We don’t feel it’s right for another human being to come into a family and force them to do something they don’t want to do. I’m his mother, I birthed him. These people don’t even know what day he was born, they have no idea. They have no idea what it’s like struggling in this environment of forced masking,” Rizo said.

“The Alabama judge that gets this, I hope he understands the message we’re tying to communicate. This Is not me trying to be bias or anything, this is me simply advocating for family choice and communicating the harm that masking is doing,” Rizo said.

Another parent tells WAFF her son who has asthma says the masks are affecting his health.

“One of my sons has allergies and so one of the things I’m hearing a lot is they have headaches, they have a hard time breathing and they come him with bloody nose,” Theresa Miller said.

Miller, who also struggles with hearing says she is concerned about the impact these masks will have on the students who have hearing disabilities.

Rizo adds the mask mandate is creating a culture of fear among the students, that could lead to depression and anxiety.

“They’re thinking. I’m going to get someone sick, I’m going to cause someone to die because I don’t have my mask on. Why is the message, ‘hey keep that mask on or you’re going to get in trouble.’ And kids are being labeled defiant,” she said.

Rizo is encouraging parents to contact school and city officials to help get the mandate lifted. A spokesperson for the district says they cannot comment on pending litigation. The district has 30 days to respond once they are officially served.

MCS Superintendent (Dr. Nichols):

MCS Assistant Superintendent (Eric Terrell):

MCS Board of Education:,,,,

Madison City Council:,,,,,,

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