Locust Valley School District joins Massapequa in lawsuit against statewide mask mandate
The Locust Valley School District has joined the Massapequa School District in a lawsuit against the statewide mask mandate.
According to the lawsuit filed just before 5:30 p.m. Friday, the Locust Valley Central School District and Massapequa School District are suing Gov. Kathy Hochul, the state Department of Health and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. The suit maintains that the DOH or the governor have the authority to issue a statewide mask mandate.
"The DOH doesn't have the power to unilaterally impose martial law because there is a health crisis, but Imposing a mask mandate is quite likely to succeed as constitutional in both NYS and more broadly as a concept of constitutional law," says Hofstra Law professor James Sample.
Sample says while there is no way to know for sure how the lawsuit will be decided, the Department of Health and the state are empowered by the Legislature to respond to health emergencies.
When asked by News 12 whether the state or parents have the right to decided what's best for the children Sample says, "realistically the answer to that question is categorically the parents are wrong in that instance."
Longtime Locust Valley resident Dot O'Connor says she is not in favor of a universal mask policy for all students.
"I don't like to see those little kids with that mask on," says O'Connor.
Locust Valley school officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Health Commissioner Zucker says since early July COVID-19 cases in New York have increased tenfold. He says requiring masks now is crucial to protecting the health of the children.