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Judge Schedules Oral Arguments In Phoenix School Mask Mandate Suit

Oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by a biology teacher over a mask mandate by the Phoenix Union High School District have been scheduled for Aug. 13.

A Wednesday morning hearing in a legal fight over whether Phoenix Union has authority to force mask use in classrooms took less than 20 minutes and was mostly procedural.

The district thinks it can require teachers and students to cover their mouth and nose until at least late September. But even once state law barring mask mandates takes effect, there are questions if the district can be forced to comply. 

“As a legal matter, we do have concerns about the enforceability of this statute,” Mary O’Grady, a lawyer for the district, told the judge in Maricopa County Superior Court.

A discussion and possible vote on masks is on the district board’s Thursday agenda.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending use of face coverings in K-12 schools.  

→  List: Arizona School Districts Requiring Masks For 2021-2022 School Year

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.