Civil suit against Sheridan County school district set for trial

By: 
From the Wyoming News Exchange

SHERIDAN (WNE) — Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Darci Phillips held a scheduling conference Tuesday in Calentine et al. v. Sheridan County School District No. 2 et al., a local lawsuit regarding mask requirements at Sheridan County School District 2 schools. 

Although SCSD2’s mask requirement has been lifted since November 2021, the parties asserted the case merits judicial examination and established a timeline for the case. 

In the plaintiffs’ petition for declaratory judgment and damages for deprivation of rights, plaintiff’s attorney Carrie Sisson argued SCSD2’s COVID-19 plan — which initially required children wear masks at school and now recommends mask-wearing for students and visitors — infringed on the fundamental rights of the plaintiffs, four parents of children attending SCSD2 schools. 

This, the suit alleges, irreparably harmed the plaintiffs, and they are entitled to relief. 

In his answer to the petition, attorney for the defendants Kendal Hoopes denied the majority of the plaintiffs’ allegations, arguing instead SCSD2 had proper authority to require masks at school and alleging several procedural issues with the petition. 

The Calentine case is similar to a couple of federal lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. 

One such suit, Smith v. Gordon, was dismissed in March. Another suit against the school district, which alleges free speech violations related to masking issues, will go before U.S. District Court Judge Allen B. Johnson Wednesday.  

Before Phillips Tuesday, the parties preliminarily scheduled a bench trial — or trial before a judge, not a jury — in the case Dec. 5-6, 2022.

 

This story was posted on April 19, 2022.

 

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