On Monday, the New York Supreme Court ruled that mask mandates were illegal. At the time, Judge Thomas Rademaker added that the issue had to be taken to the state legislature but noted masks could not be mandated by the health department. Although straightforward, apparently, the New York State Education Department has sent an email to parents advising them they are NOT allowed to send their children to school without wearing a mask. 

Spencerport Superintendent Kristin Swann, who wrote the email, told parents, “The State Education Department (SED) continues to mandate that all individuals in school settings must wear masks under the current regulations until legal appeals are exhausted,” Swann added, “Please understand that this mandate was communicated to ALL school districts from the New York State Education Department as of this evening.”

The email also detailed how the education department believed that “the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling. Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.”

As mentioned above, the New York Supreme Court already ruled on the matter on Monday, with Judge Rademaker stating, “There can be no question that every person in this State wishes, wants and prays that this era of COVID ends soon and they will surely do their part to see that is accomplished. However, enacting any laws to this end is entrusted solely to the State Legislature. While the intentions of Commissioner Bassett and Governor Hochul appear to be well aimed squarely at doing what they believe is right to protect the citizens of New York State, they must take their case to the State Legislature.”

But no matter what, Swann continued to enforce the rule, being sure to end her email with, “I appreciate your continued partnership and support in following these masking guidelines. We remain steadfast in doing all that we can to keep our students and staff safe.”