ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In the Capital Region, School Districts have responded to the New York State Supreme Court’s ruling on mask mandates through open communications efforts between each district, parents, and boards of education. Several school districts will continue to follow masking guidelines set forth in Governor Hochul’s original proposal at this time.
On January 24, New York State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Rademaker of Nassau County claimed in writing that the mask mandate across the state is unconstitutional and unenforceable, as Governor Kathy Hochul has no emergency powers. The document states Governor Hochul’s case must be presented before State Legislature- but as the State ramps up rebuttal efforts, resulting in an automatic stay, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.
It comes as the New York State Education Department (SED) released a statement Tuesday, saying “The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dept of Health et al. This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al. It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling. Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.”
Shenendehowa Central School District
The district is engaged in understanding the implications and will be communicating accordingly. We hear you and understand your viewpoints. The district has not been directed by the agencies that dictate school protocols and is patiently awaiting the application of the court ruling.Shenendehowa CSD Officials
Niskayuna Central School District
You may be aware of a Nassau County Supreme Court ruling concerning the constitutionality of the state’s mask mandate. We have received some outreach from families in response to this. We received an email last evening from the New York State Education Department informing us that the state plans to appeal this ruling and that schools must continue to follow the mask rule at this time.Niskayuna CSD Officials
Schenectady Central School District
It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling. Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule. If there are any changes we will notify you.Schenectady CSD Officials
Guilderland Central School District
There is no change to the mask protocols we have been following. All students and staff members are required to wear masks at school. We will continue to follow the guidelines of the New York State Education Department and New York State Department of Health and will let you know if those change at any time.Marie Wiles, Ph.D, Superintendent
No full reversal has been made at this time to the mask mandate, but the New York State Supreme Court is requesting the matter be sent to the State Legislature. This is a developing story and will be updated as more school districts reach out.