Federal Judge Blocks Governor Lee’s Executive Order to Opt-Out of Mask Mandates in Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks


A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s executive order allowing parents to opt their kids out of wearing face coverings at school.

Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw ruled Williamson County Schools and the Franklin Special School District can enforce mask mandates in their school systems despite Lee’s executive order.

According to court documents, Judge Crenshaw’s ruling prohibits Lee from implementing Executive Order 84 in either district. The injunction goes until October 5.

“Based on the record before the court, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Williamson County, including at plaintiffs’ schools, along with a significant number of students who have opted out, plaintiffs have likewise been denied access to a safe, in-person education experience,” Crenshaw wrote in his 18-page decision.

This comes after Williamson County School Board members voted to extend the mask requirement until mid-January on Monday. The mask requirement includes students, staff and visitors at all grade levels, who are inside all buildings and on buses, through January 19, 2022.

Previously, two other judges have also halted Lee’s executive order in Knox County and Shelby County. All three lawsuits claim that Lee’s order violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits the exclusion of students with disabilities from public educational programs and activities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children with certain disabilities are more vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get COVID-19.

According to data from the Tennessee Department of Education, the number of Tennessee school-aged children testing positive for COVID-19 has seen a significant drop from prior weeks.  Tennessee Health Department shows hospitalizations among children are also at their lowest levels in nearly a month and the cases among all ages have continued to drop as well.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]





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10 Thoughts to “Federal Judge Blocks Governor Lee’s Executive Order to Opt-Out of Mask Mandates in Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District”

  1. F. Mark Kosierowski

    It is absolutely astonishing to me that the fact that there is no proof at all that masks prevent COVID has not been raised in any of these decisions. Why have those arguing in favor of Lee’s order not brought this up?

  2. Chris

    The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will ultimately take up these lower court decisions.

  3. Tim Price

    Another freaking liberal tail judge kissing the tail of other liberals! How does a non elected official get to over rude an ejected official and make laws from the bench?

  4. rick

    The American with Disabilities Act certainly covers these school boards and the Superintendents This makes about as much sense as a friend of mine did not like to go to Kroger’s because of the crowds and people who do not wear mask, but she will certainly go to a Titans game with that crowd where both are worse, ignorance is bliss. In all cases “YOU CAN’t FIX STUPID”.

  5. Nashville Stomper


    U.S. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI was maskless in a San Francisco hair salon at a time when the city’s hair salons were closed to the public due to Covid. She later instituted a mask mandate in the U.S. House
    VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE AND FORMER GOVERNOR TERRY MCAULIFFE was maskless on an Amtrak train under a posted mask mandate. Days before McAuliffe tweeted “Keep wearing a mask.”
    PRESIDENT BARAK OBAMA and his “sophisticated, vaccinated” A-list celebrity guests were maskless at this August 2021 60 th birthday party. Most social media photos have since been deleted.
    U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ALEXANDRIA OCASIO CORTEZ attended the 2021 New York Met Gala maskless at a time when NYC restaurants are under a Covid mandate. The “equity” champion does not follow the rules she seeks for everyone else.
    CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM went to the exclusive French Laundry Restaurant at a time when California restaurants were under a Covid lockdown. Newsom later called his recall vote victory “a victory for science.”
    CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISOR TO THE U.S. PRESIDENT DR. ANTHONY FAUCI was seen mask down and face inches away from another person at a baseball game. If maskless people are a threat to the health of even masked people, then why is Dr. Fauci interacting as seen in the non-infamous photo?
    CHICAGO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT had her hair done at a Chicago salon at a time when Chicago salons were under Covid lockdown. Her defense: “I’m a public person.”
    SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR LONDON BREED partied maskless in a nightclub after placing her city under a mask mandate. Her response: “We don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing.”
    D.C. MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER partied maskless just hours before her mask mandate of July 31, 2021 went into effect. Just hope Covid particles can tell time!
    U.S. REPRESENTATIVE RASHIDA TLAIB recently assailed Americans who resist mask mandates then danced maskless at an indoor wedding.
    THE SEPTEMBER 2021 EMMYS in LA saw packed and maskless celebrities at a time when the city’s children are under a school mask mandate
    WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR DR. DEBORAH BIRX urged Americans to stay “at home” over the 2020 holidays then gathered with non-household family members (daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren) to ‘winterize” a vacation home.

    Would they act this way if they really believed mandates are a matter of life and death?

    What are they really trying to accomplish?

  6. David Blackwell RN, BSN, CCM

    Unreal how dumb our educators are, as well as our leaders. See George Carlin on Fat, Stupid Americans and Germs. The man was before his time. He called it like it truly is.

  7. 83ragtop50

    Yet another liberal judge with tainted judgment. Who made him a lawmaker?

  8. Steve Allen

    Hey leftists take your mask and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine! They do not protect you from the dreaded chinese virus, all they are is a signal that you are a submissive fool to the socialist/globalist agenda, unless you are in a high risk category, which most children ARE NOT.

    I feel so bad for K-12 graders as they are being made to participate in this forced subservience to outright socialism. What kind of world are we presenting to them that they must learn to live in fear for their lives because there is an incredibly slight chance that they MIGHT become infected and actually get sick? Ever since 9/11/01 (when the muslim extremists were allowed to cause horrific damage to America), freedom in America has been in a slow death spiral. And now the chinese virus is being milked for all it’s worth to continue to strip Americans of their Constitutional Rights.

    It’s so sad for me to say this, but, unless the political Right regains control of America and literally rounds up and imprisons tens of thousands of liberal socialists and deep state traitors, the good times ARE over for good. I am so thankful that I was able to lived most of my life in the 20th century. Short of the Second Coming, I see no future for America other than bloody, violent conflict.

  9. John Bumpus

    Judge Crenshaw was appointed by President Obama.

    1. rick

      That says it all !