Students are being sent home for not wearing masks in schools and Central New York parents are not happy.

Mary Keller's son was sent home from Sauquoit school for refusing to wear a mask after a Supreme Court ruling the mandate was unconstitutional. Keller says she was given a letter from the school Principal when she arrived to pick up her son.

Credit - Mary Keller
Credit - Mary Keller
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Keller's son wasn't the only one sent home from school on Tuesday. "I have a friend that has children in Whitesboro who was sent home for non-masking too."

"I'm seeing all Oneida County Schools are implementing the mask mandate per New York State Education Department despite the ruling," said Keller.

Masks in Rome

Rome Central School District Superintendent Peter Blake wrote a letter to parents on the mask mandate ruling too. "We understand from the State Education Department that the State of New York shall seek an appeal of the decision and seek a stay regarding the enforcement of the same. As a result, the State Education Department has stated that schools are required to continue to require the use of masks pending the final adjudication of the litigation."

Michael Hawks, who has three children in the Rome School District, sent a letter to Blake regarding the mask mandates.

I am writing to inform you that I will be instructing each of my children to wear a mask at their own personal discretion, and to simply ignore any school official that will tell them otherwise. If our family has to face any school given consequence to this action then I will be taking every step possible to ensure my children’s right to attend and receive public education (without the expectation of sacrificing ANY of their constitutional rights and freedoms) is protected.

Mask Mandate Stay

One day after Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rademaker ruled the in-door mask mandate was unconstitutional, an Appellate Court Judge kept New York State’s indoor mask mandate in place while the case is being appealed.

NYS Education Department Responds

New York State Education Department Commissioner Dr. Betty Rosa released a statement following the latest ruling:

We are pleased the Appellate Division granted the application by the Department of Health and the Governor’s office, confirming the lower court’s decision is stayed pending further proceedings. As such, the mask mandate remains in effect for schools across the state. We support Governor Hochul and the state Department of Health as they continue with the appeal. We thank the members of our school communities for their patience during this process.

Congresswoman Stands Up For Kids

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is asking any parent or student that is told they cannot attend school if they do not wear a mask, to contact her office. "I am a senior Member of the House Education and Labor Committee, and I will hold the New York State Department of Education accountable," Stefanik tweeted.

Students and staff will still be required to mask up until a final decision is made.

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