Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed dozens of lawsuits against school districts across the state, saying that these schools did not have the authority to enforce mask mandates for school-aged children.
According to Fox 2, 36 school districts have been sued across the state, with 20 of these districts existing in the St. Louis area.
In these lawsuits, Schmitt and over 70 parents claim that schools don't have the legal authority to enforce these mandates, calling them unlawful and illegal.
"There's a body of evidence that shows the psychological and social harms from the forced masking of kids," said Schmitt. "So we're taking them to court. We're going to fight on behalf of parents and the ability for people, individuals and families to make these decisions themselves."
Speaking with Fox & Friends, Schmitt said that the forced masking of school kids is "wrong," "ineffective," and "illegal."
"Well, the forced masking of school-aged kids is wrong, number one. Number two, it's ineffective, and three, it's illegal. The General Assembly here in Missouri has never given this kind of power to school districts to force healthy kids, for example, to mask, or to force healthy kids to quarantine, and so we're taking them to court over that," Schmitt said.
"And it's time to pry away this power away from bureaucrats at every level, and return that power back to parents, where they can make these decisions, parents and families, as it's always has been," he added.
"Because we know — look, these masks are ineffective. Even the fiercest advocates for these masks now are saying they're nothing more than facial decorations. But what we do know, Will, is there's a growing body of evidence now about the social, psychological problems, the anxiety and the depression, the loss of learning, it's much more difficult to learn for these kids. So parents should be able to weigh these factors and make these decisions, which is why we filed a few dozen lawsuits last week and we're gonna continue those filings the early part of this week," Schmitt continued.
Fox & Friends host Will Cain explained that in Missouri, the state legislature has not given the power to enforce mask mandates to these school districts, "so therefore, you're suing them on the on the morality and the science."
According to Fox 2, one school district, the Francis Howell School District, that has been sued has responded to the lawsuit.
"As we've said all along, we have consulted with our legal counsel and are confident that our Board of Education has the authority to establish mask requirements and other mitigation measures. The Attorney General is not elected to make decisions for Francis Howell students and staff. That responsibility lies with our locally elected school board members, and the mitigation measures they have enacted helped keep our schools open for in-person learning, which we know is important for our students and families," the statement reads.
"Our community and especially our elected officials should be celebrating and supporting schools during this challenging time, not suing them. The lawsuit filed by Schmitt is a waste of taxpayer money – on both sides. The claims are tenuous at best and this unnecessary lawsuit represents another attack on public education in Missouri. This latest action by AG Schmitt is disheartening, unfounded, and frankly, shameful," it continued.