Olathe Public Schools board votes to keep mask mandate

Olathe Public Schools
Posted at 2:01 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 15:01:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Olathe Public School's Board of Education voted Monday morning to reject a complaint regarding the district’s mask mandate.

There were at least two complaints filed about the district’s mask policies under a new law that went into effect last month, which allows the public to challenge COVID-19 protocols put in place by school districts.

However, board members said the complainants either didn’t have standing to file the complaint or the complaints were not submitted in a timely fashion.

The decision comes after the Blue Valley Board of Education faced a similar challenge last week. Blue Valley also voted to keep in place its mask policy in place, though it may be challenged in court.

In addition to the board’s ruling, a Johnson County District Court judge ruled Friday that a complaint filed by Johnson County Commissioner Charlotte O’Hara lacked standing and was subsequently dismissed.

Senate Bill 40, which took effect March 31 requires local school boards in Kansas to conduct a public hearing any time any parent, employee or student raises an issue about COVID-19 protocols.

The district must schedule a meeting within three days. If the board declines to change its policy, the complaining party can sue the district to challenge the policy in court.

A judge will then decide if the policy is allowed to stand or if the district must change it.