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No-Mask Rule; “Sue the Bastard” School Board Members

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No-Mask Rule; “Sue the Bastard” School Board Members – Expert; Even Legal Threats Can Work, Says Law Professor Who Succeeded


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Parents Can Sue The School Board Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 13, 2021) – Parents who are worried about the health and even lives of their children who are required to attend schools where the school board has refused to follow recommended Covid precautions now have a new weapon and are no longer helpless, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

They can follow the popular motto “Sue The Bastards” and sue the school boards, and perhaps even the individual school board members, as two different set of concerned parents have just done in Wisconsin, says Banzhaf, noting that his simple threat to sue individual board members forced them to back down regarding a much less serious health risk at schools in Seattle.

In Wisconsin two different set of parents have filed class action law suits against not only such school boards, but also against the individual school board members, for relaxing Covid precautions including mark-wearing requirements, in defiance of recommendations from the CDC and other experts.

One federal law suit lists three different causes of action – [1] Equal Protection, Affirmative Duty to Protect-State Created Danger (42 U.S.C. § 1983); [2] Equal Protection, Affirmative Duty to Protect-Special relationship. (42 U.S.C. § 1983); and [3] Public Nuisance – but the law professor suggests that such suits could charge “child abuse” and/or “reckless endangerment” as well.

Considering Legal Actions Based Simply Upon Statutes

Also, while both law suits involve situations in which the children did in fact contract Covid, presumably while in school, parents might want to consider legal actions based simply upon statutes – e.g., those related to child abuse and/or reckless endangerment – which prohibit subjecting children to unnecessary risks.

Banzhaf notes that even threats to sue school board members can sometimes also be effective. It’s one thing to be a member of a school board which is sued, and quite another to be a named defendant with its possible impact on one’s credit rating, ability to purchase or even refinance a home, etc., he says.

Years ago, for example, he issued a threat from thousands of miles away to sue individual members if the Seattle school board agreed to renew a contract which would have had the school promote the consumption of sugary soft drinks which the professor argued would likely contribute to pediatric obesity.

The school board relented, and that incident later led the abolishment of that practice around the country. See, e.g.: Guidelines Call for Less Soda in Schools; Industry urges companies to sell water, fruit juices, sports drinks.