Judge sides with Shawnee Mission School District in mask lawsuit, asks Kansas AG to weigh in on SB 40

Shawnee Mission mask case

A Johnson County judge sided with the Shawnee Mission School District after two parents sued the district for not holding a public hearing regarding their complaints about the district's mask policy this past school year. In his order, the judge raised larger concerns about the constitutionality of SB 40, a state law passed this spring that allows citizens to challenge local governments' COVID-19 restrictions. File photo.

A Johnson County judge has sided with the Shawnee Mission School District in a lawsuit brought by two parents who sued after they were denied a public hearing to challenge the district’s rule that masks be worn inside school buildings. On Thursday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office said it planned to respond to the judge’s order to “intervene” on SB 40, the bill that created the mechanism for parents to make such complaints.

Why it matters: It’s the latest blow against ongoing efforts to overturn Johnson County public school districts’ mask rules, many of which have now been rolled back or modified following the end of the 2020-21 academic year.