Community Letter -Mask Mandate 11-11-21
November 11, 2021
Dear PLSD Families,
Lee Greenwood says in his song, God Bless the USA, “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” I want to thank every veteran as we honor them on this special day!
Yesterday, November 10, 2021, in a 4-1 decision, the Commonwealth Court found that the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health’s August 31, 2021 masking mandate is void. The Court stated that: “For the foregoing reasons, we find the Masking Order to be void ab initio.”
Accordingly, the Court granted the Petitioners’ Application and denied Respondent’s (Secretary of Health’s) Application for Enforcement. Consequently, the Court declared the Masking Order "unenforceable." Within hours, a Notice of Appeal was filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
At approximately 3:32 p.m. yesterday, the Secretary of Education released a statement outlining “Schools should continue to observe the school masking order throughout the duration of the Court’s proceedings.” PDE also stated the appeal will trigger a Stay of the Commonwealth Court’s ruling and keep the Masking Order in effect.
Counsel for Senator Jake Corman’s group (Corman v. Beam, No. 294 MD 2021 (Pa. Cmmw. Ct. filed Sept. 3, 2021)) stated they will ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to lift the Stay.
Once again, schools, parents, students, will be left in limbo while this legal battle plays out. It is anticipated that a more definitive answer will be forthcoming from the Court. As soon as we receive that clarification, I will be sure to reach out and provide you with the most up-to-date information. In the meantime, the expectation remains the same that everyone is masked up when school reopens tomorrow, Friday, November 12, 2021. Please understand that our district believes that these decisions should be made at the local level, but we also must adhere to the rule of law, and let the judicial process play out.
Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation and support. I am blessed to be part of a community that in spite of frustrating circumstances, remains respectful and unified. I ask once again that we as a community cooperatively stay focused on our core mission of preparing our students for their futures.
Shawn Ford, Superintendent