Students and staff in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 will still have to wear masks at school, despite a court ruling against the governor’s mandatory mask policy.

In a website message to the community, superintendent Devon Horton says that the ruling, by a judge in Springfield, does not apply to District 65 because the district was not one of the school systems named in the lawsuit.

Horton says about 150 of the state’s 840 school districts are the listed defendants.

“Because District 65 was not one of the school districts named in the lawsuit,” Horton says, “this order has no impact on the District’s COVID-19 mitigation measures.”

Besides blocking the governor’s mask regulations in the named districts, Horton says the Springfield judge’s ruling also stops mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations or testing for school employees only in those same school systems.

Horton adds that an appeal to that judicial ruling “wlll be swiftly filed.”

The superintendent expects that the Appeals Court decision should happen quickly, “and will very likely provide a ruling that will have a broader and more definitive impact for public school districts.”

Horton adds that in the meantime, “to limit disruption and to keep our school communities safe,” District 65’s current mitigation measures “regarding masking, close contact exclusion requirements, and testing for staff will remain in place.”

He also asks parents to “reinforce with your children” the need to remain masked in school.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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