(The Center Square) – A Sangamon County circuit court judge on Friday denied class certification in challenges over vaccine or testing mandates for teachers and mask mandates and exclusion policies for students.
The mandates have been imposed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker since last fall. School districts across the state have been implementing the orders.
After days of oral arguments in separate challenges last month, Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischow denied requests for class certification Friday.
Arguments in that case were heard over several days last month.
In the case of dozens of school staff suing 22 school districts, the governor and state education officials challenging vaccine or testing mandates in public schools, the judge denied certifying the class.
“The Court is aware of educators on both sides of this issue,” Grischow wrote in a separate order. “It appears the named Plaintiffs can maintain a cause of action but there is the possibility of relief that could be potentially antagonistic to non-represented class members. It is not appropriate for this Court to speculate that a class action is the most appropriate method and that joinder may prove to be more time consuming and expensive.”
Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul said the ruling will put students and school staffers at risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Raoul said he’ll appeal the decison.
Marion Unit 2 Schools released a statement Sunday saying, “As a result of the ruling, effective immediately Unit #2 will change to a mask ‘optional’ policy for students and staff, cease close contact exclusions and cease mandatory testing for unvaccinated staff. All other mitigations will remain in place. Federal Law requires masks on buses, that will not change.”