Pennsylvania Judge Kicks School Board Members Out of Positions for Mask Mandate

A Pennsylvania judge ruled to kick five Democratic members off the school board for the West Chester Area School District over a mask mandate.

Judge William Mahon of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas ruled to immediately remove the officials from their position due to “no response” from the members to a petition to end the mandate.

Beth Ann Rosica, a concerned parent, filed the petition with the district officials, arguing that state law did not grant them the authority to implement the mandate.

Furthermore, the officials implemented the requirement after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the statewide mandate for schools unconstitutional. The court highlighted that Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam did not have the power to issue the broad regulation.

After the ruling, district Superintendent Robert Sokolowski dismissed the decision by the judge, pointing to a motion to reconsider that was filed by the attorney representing the school board members.

“The decision states that the removal of the board members named in the petition was a ‘procedural result’ and does not address any of the allegations made in the complaint. Special counsel to the district is in the process of preparing a substantive response on behalf of those school board members named in the petition,” Sokolowski said, according to a letter obtained by WHYY.

Rosica, the parent that filed the petition, is connected to Back to School PA, an organization that advocates for “greater transparency and accountability for local school districts and will lead to improved outcomes for all public school children.”

“Where were our elected officials when our children were out of school for almost 2 years? Parents are at the heart of this movement, not politicians,” the group said in a Facebook post after the ruling.

The judge granted the school district and Rosica seven days to submit recommendations for replacements on the board.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Pennsylvania Daily Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

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