Olathe school board rejects 2nd challenge to mask policy

Olathe Public School mask policy meeting
Posted at 11:36 AM, Apr 19, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Olathe Public Schools will not rescind the district’s mask mandate after a special meeting Monday in response to a second challenge to its COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The Olathe Board of Education heard from a hearing officer after a challenge to the mask mandate under Senate Bill 40, a new Kansas law that allows any individual to challenge aspects of a public entity’s COVID-19 mandate.

“The board voted to deny and dismiss the complainant’s request to remove the district’s mask mandate for their children and for the district,” Olathe Public School announced Monday.

The Olathe school board heard a challenge last week under the new law and voted to keep the mask mandate in place.

After another challenge was filed, the school board met again and denied the request.

The request was not filed in a timely fashion, the parent did not have standing to request the removal on behalf of all students in the district and the district's masking policy is the least-restrictive measure to respond to the emergency order regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a reminder, the Kansas Legislature passed Senate Bill 40, which gives boards of education sole authority to take actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the board said in a release. “The legislation also provides that employees, students, and parents or guardians who disagree with the COVID-19 interventions in place may request a hearing to challenge the interventions.”