Palatine police responded about 8:25 a.m. Monday February 7, 2022 to a report of a confrontation of students regarding the practice of wearing masks for COVID-19 precautions.
Palatine police are investigating a report that between first and second periods at William Fremd High School, a female student that was not wearing a mask was threatened by another student, who allegedly displayed a knife.
The confrontation over mask policy occurred three days, and the first school day, after Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene Grischow “deemed null and void” the Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s emergency rules through the Illinois Department of Public Health concerning COVID-19 mitigations for schools. The preliminary ruling on Friday, February 4, 2022 was a response to lawsuit filed in October 2021.
Schools are temporarily restrained from enforcing Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates. Gov. Pritzker appealed the ruling on Monday, February 7, 2022.
On Sunday, February 6, 2022 District 211 Superintendent wrote the following letter to students and staff of District 211 …
Dear District 211 Student, Parents and Staff: (en Español)
In October 2021, District 211 was one of more than 140 school districts across Illinois named as a defendant in a lawsuit regarding the enforcement of Governor Pritzker’s Executive Orders mandating specific COVID-19 mitigation requirements in schools. Among the requirements challenged in the lawsuit were the universal mask mandate and the temporary exclusion of students identified as close contacts to someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.
On Friday, February 4, the Judge presiding over the lawsuit preliminarily ruled that the student mask mandate and temporary exclusion of students from school who are identified as close contacts cannot be enforced by the Governor through the current Executive Orders.
This preliminary ruling is now being challenged by the Governor. At this time, District 211 will not require the wearing of masks during the school day nor the exclusion of students as close contacts based on the executive order. Individuals who were close contacts can return to school on Monday as long as they are not experiencing COVID symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still has an order in place requiring anyone on public transportation including school buses to wear a mask. Therefore, masks are required on school buses.
At this time, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has not changed its requirements for mask wearing by participants and spectators during indoor extracurricular events.
Our local area is still at a high transmission rate based on the CDC guidance. The CDC recommends masks being worn in schools, but masks are currently not required during the school day in District 211. Local health department data can be found at https://ccdphcd.shinyapps.io/covid19/. We will continue to follow Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC guidance for COVID mitigations outside of what the court has ruled. These safety mitigations can be found at https://adc.d211.org/Page/7816.
The safety and health of all students and staff remains a priority, and we are grateful for the innovation and flexibility of those in our schools. We will continue to update you if requirements change in the future.
Lisa Small, Ed.D. Superintendent
Township High School District 211 is the largest high school district in the state with nearly 12,000 students in its five high schools and two alternative high schools. High School District 211 is located about 25 miles northwest of Chicago and serves the communities of Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Palatine, and Schaumburg, and parts of Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Streamwood, and South Barrington.
District 211’s five high schools are: James B. Conant (located in Hoffman Estates), William Fremd (located in Palatine), Hoffman Estates, Palatine, and Schaumburg High Schools. District 211’s alternative high schools are District 211 North Campus (located in Palatine) and District 211 Higgins Education Center (located in Hoffman Estates).
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