Anchorage School Board members who voted to impose mask mandates on more than 42,000 area students may soon be in legal trouble.
A group of concerned Anchorage parents is employing an innovative legal strategy to hold the six left-leaning members of the seven-member board accountable for requiring children to cover their faces for most of the current academic year.
During a school board meeting this past September, board members were publicly warned about the negative health impacts that can result from persistent mask wearing among youth. They were also forewarned that they could be held legally liable if they were aware of how masks could harm a child’s health and yet persisted in mandating the face coverings. Additionally, board members received certified letters in the mail providing the same information.
Organizers are looking for parents and students who have been enrolled in Anchorage schools during the period of mandatory masks, and who have suffered harm.
Despite these admonishments, the school district compelled Anchorage students to mask up until Feb. 28, when the board finally lifted the requirements. Anchorage Superintendent Deena Bishop attempted to rescind the mandate earlier in December but was overruled by six of the seven board members who wanted the mandate to stand indefinitely. Dave Donley was the only board member who opposed the masking obligations.
The majority’s refusal to lift the mandates earlier may now bring legal consequences.
Since individual Anchorage School Board members are not bonded, they do not have qualified immunity, and can be personally sued for damages they may have cause to children due to the mandate.
A growing group of Anchorage parents is now in the process of gathering factual information and personal testimony from individuals who have suffered specific harm as a result of the mandates. This includes medical, psychological, dental and other injuries.
A website, StopTheJab.org, was created to share information about the process and gather written and verbal evidence. According to organizers, they now have about 12 individual testimonies, with more people reaching out each week.
The idea of suing school board members for harm caused by Covid policies is gaining momentum across the nation, and catching many public officials off guard.
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In many states, school board members and other public officials are required to hold surety bonds, which give them legal and financial coverage if they commit actions that harm the school district. Members of the public can make claims against some of these bonds. In the case of the Anchorage School Board, the individual members are not bonded, so they are open to being personally sued.
The strategy of suing public officials as a way to fight Covid mandates is being promoted on a new website called BondsForTheWin.com, which offers guidance on how the process works. The goal in Anchorage is to stop the school board from ever reimposing mask mandates in the future.
Currently, organizers are looking for parents and students who have been enrolled in the Anchorage School District during the period of mandatory masks, and who have suffered harm from the requirements. The initiative kicked off in early February.
Once the evidence gathering phase is completed, organizers will make a legal claim in the form of an affidavit. Anchorage residents interested in getting involved or sharing their testimony should call (907) 691-6928 and visit StopTheJab.org.