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Johnson County commissioner's mask mandate lawsuit dismissed

COVID-19 mask generic
Posted at 3:09 PM, Apr 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-10 16:09:42-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Blue Valley school district by a Johnson County Commissioner who was denied entry into a district meeting because she refused to wear a mask.

Johnson County District Judge Robert Wonnell ruled Friday that Commissioner Charlotte O'Hara had no standing to file the lawsuit under a state law passed last month that details how people can object to COVID-19 restrictions.

According to court documents, when O'Hara arrived she explained to district attorney Melissa Hillman that she was exempted from the mask requirement because she is hearing impaired with tinnitus.

O'Hara was told by Hillman that she could not sit in the hearing room without providing an exemption.

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, Blue Valley officials argued O'Hara was not harmed by the district's enforcement of the mask rule. The hearing was postponed after another person refused to wear a mask, and it was held virtually on Wednesday.

The district also argued O'Hara doesn't have standing to challenge the law because she is not an employee, student, parent or guardian of district student. She does have grandchildren in the district.

District officials announced on Thursday that Blue Valley will keep its mask requirement until the end of the school year.