NewsLocal News


Douglas County mask ruling comes amid bitter public fights over masks in schools

Line outside Douglas County School Board after judge rules in favor of mask mandates for public schools
Posted at 11:17 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 10:41:12-04

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — On Tuesday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the Douglas County Board of Health public health order that allowed parents to opt children out of mask mandates.

The ruling comes amid a bitter public debate between parents and a heated school board election with candidates promising to take the district in different directions in public health and education.

The newly formed Douglas County Board of Health issued its first ruling in October that allowed parents to opt their children out of the school district's order requiring all students be masked.

The school district then sued the health department to allow the mask order to stay in place.

The ruling in favor of the school district came just hours before their weekly meeting at the district headquarters. At the Tuesday school board meeting, several dozen parents for and against the mask mandate lined up more than an hour ahead of the meeting.

"I'm very happy with the court ruling today. I think it's a very exciting and positive thing for the safety of all the children in the schools and the teacher and administrators," parent Sierra Erickson said. "We're happy to support the mask ruling."

Opponents lined up as well, some setting up tents outside the meeting and others making signs.

"I think it's a very bad ruling. I think it sets a terrible slippery slope precedent," said Allyson Kulinski, another parent. "I think it needs to be a choice. I will never tell someone that they can't wear a mask. That's not my place."

The fight over masks comes amid a heated school board election seeking to bring the district in two different directions.

Correction: The ruling was issued by a U.S. District Court of Colorado judge, not by a 10th Circuit judge.