By Charlie Feldman
The Triad School District is facing lawsuits from different sources over COVID-19 masking and testing.
Three parents in the Speak for Students group have filed for temporary restraining orders to allow their children to attend school without masks. Their hearing is on Wednesday, after press time but before this newspaper is delivered.
Four teachers from the Triad District and three from the Edwardsville District have also filed suits against their districts.
The Triad School District has hired an attorney, Stephanie Jones. So have those filing the lawsuits. Theirs is Bond County lawyer Thomas DeVore, whose name has come up several times during the past two years in regard to COVID-19-related lawsuits ranging from sending cease and desist letters to police in various towns over attempted business closures to suing the Illinois High School Association over requiring masks in its Return to Play guidelines.
The four Triad District teachers are Christina Becker, Vicki Brides, Jessica Green and Amber Stevens. Two are Teachers Education Association officers.
The three Triad District parents are Jamey Hartley, of the Speak for Students anti-masking group, Autumn Meier and Amy Honer.
“Triad Education Association is committed to delivering the best possible education to the students of the Triad School District in the safest environment for the students and staff possible,” said Andrew Frey, Triad Education Association president, in a press release on Friday, September 24. “Ninety percent of teachers in the Triad School district are vaccinated, and the majority of those who are not are willingly complying with the testing mandates set forth by the state.
“Triad has been able to be in person nearly every day since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. This is in large part due to the mitigation efforts put in place by the district and enforced by the administrators and teachers. Masking has been one of the most effective strategies used to this point,” he wrote.
The court cases are under the Miscellaneous Remedy category. Madison County Judge Ron Foster handles those, sometimes on Zoom.