MEXICO, N.Y. (WSYR) — A group of about 12 students said they were locked out of Mexico High School in Oswego County Tuesday morning after they showed up not wearing masks. They said they refused to wear masks because a State Supreme Court Judge ruled that the mask requirement for unvaccinated people in public places is unconstitutional.

The students said it was their individual right to not wear a mask. Those same students admitted to being unvaccinated.

School districts were under a state-ordered mask requirement since districts reopened for the current school year in September of 2021, but the legal ruling is changing the landscape. Even so, according to a spokesperson with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), “The Governor and State DOH have filed a Notice of Appeal and are seeking confirmation that the Court’s order is stayed. While these legal steps occur, it is NYSED’s position that schools should continue to follow the mask rule.” And on Tuesday morning, New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted that her office is appealing the decision that struck down the mandate.

Meanwhile, to keep warm, the students set up inside the main entrance’s vestibule. They say their principal wouldn’t allow them inside the building, but they were allowed to leave freely. As word of the incident spread around, parents of at least five of the students joined the group. The parents expressed anger that their students were being denied an education.

The group of parents and students were joined by someone who said the district was in violation of the court order and brought protest signs. At least one Oswego County Sheriff’s Deputy and two New York State Troopers had vehicles parked outside the entrance.

The superintendent of the Mexico School District did not respond to requests for comment from NEWS10’s sister station in Syracuse.

After an initial mask mandate from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo lasting from April 2020 to June 2021, Hochul announced in mid-December that it would go back into effect for at least a month. The Department of Health later said the mandate would be in place until February 1.