Lawyer demands that Kansas school district alter COVID rules

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A lawyer who has filed lawsuits challenging mask mandates in two Kansas counties is demanding that a Kansas City-area school district revise its COVID-19 policies, arguing that they violate state and federal laws.

Attorney Ryan Kriegshauser told the Gardner-Edgerton school district in southwestern Johnson County this week in a letter that he is representing students and parents in the district. He said continuing to enforce the policies would be “evidence of willful illegal conduct” against students.

District spokesperson Ben Boothe said Thursday in an email to The Associated Press that the district’s attorney is reviewing the letter and declined further comment. Kriegshauser gave the district until 5 p.m. Friday to respond.

The district’s policies say people who’ve had close contact with others with COVID-19 won’t be quarantined if they are fully vaccinated or wear masks.

Kriegshauser argued in his letter that the policies violate state and federal laws barring discrimination against people with medical disabilities and constitute harassment or bullying. He also argued that the policies violate a state law barring the use of state tax dollars to “refuse access” based on someone’s vaccination status to places open to the general public.

Kriegshauser filed lawsuits last week on behalf of residents of Johnson and Morris counties challenging mask requirements.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.