A doctor from Oregon who said mask-wearing can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning got his medical license revoked

covid mask and shield
A Nepalese health worker in protective gear, ready to collect swab samples to test them for the coronavirus in Singh Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

  • The Oregon Medical Board has revoked the license of a doctor who refused to wear a mask.
  • Steven Arthur LaTulippe ran a family clinic and falsely told his patients mask-wearing could carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • He told the board he would continue to refuse to follow COVID-19 guidelines like mask-wearing.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

An Oregon doctor who falsely claimed that wearing masks can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning has had his license revoked.

As of September 2, Steven Arthur LaTulippe is no longer allowed to practice, according to records from the Oregon Medical Board. LaTulippe also received a $10,000 fine.

An investigation conducted by the Oregon Medical Board found that LaTulippe engaged in “8 instances of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, 22 instances of negligence in the practice of medicine, and 5 instances of gross negligence in the practice of medicine.”

LaTulippe’s family practice, South View Medical Arts, did not ask patients whether they had been in close contact with someone who exhibited COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for the disease, records say. LaTulippe had also asked his receptionist to screen individuals for COVID-19 by looking at the patient’s facial expression rather than asking common screening questions.

He “had trained his receptionist ‘to look at [the patient] and just take a look at them and see if they look sick,’ and, if the patient was ‘smiling and happy,’ the receptionist was instructed to ask how the patient was feeling,” medical records say. “If the patient indicated that they ‘felt fine’ and they were ‘not ill,’ the receptionist would direct the patient to sit in the waiting area” before heading to an examination room.

Neither LaTulippe nor his wife, who ran the clinic with him, wore a mask between March 2020 and December 2020 while treating patients, the investigation says. LaTulippe also told patients they didn’t have to wear a mask in the clinic unless they were “actively ill, coughing, [or] congested,” the investigation says.

Masks have been show to dramatically reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Additionally, LaTulippe told elderly and pediatric patients that mask-wearing was “very dangerous” for them because they can exacerbate asthma or “cause or contribute to multiple serious health conditions” like strokes, collapsed lungs, and pneumonia. He also claimed that mask-wearing would lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

LaTulippe believes he’s been “a strong asset to the public in educating them on the real facts about this pandemic,” according to the investigation.

The board originally suspended his license in December 2020. When investigators asked whether he planned to follow COVID-19 protocols like mask-wearing, LaTulippe said no.

“In a choice between losing his medical license versus wearing a mask in his clinic and requiring his patients and staff to wear a mask in his clinic, he will, ‘choose to sacrifice my medical license with no hesitation,'” the investigative report reads.

His decision to flout COVID-19 guidelines like mask-wearing was irresponsible and “actively promoted transmission of the COVID-19 virus within the extended community,” investigators wrote.

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Iowa ban on mask mandates at schools overturned by federal judge

GettyImages 1231780238
Students wearing masks in school.

  • The CDC recommends “universal indoor masking” at schools for all students, teachers, and visitors.
  • Iowa is one of several GOP-led states that have forbidden schools from adopting that policy.
  • Parents of disabled children have argued the ban denies their kids’ right to an education.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A federal judge has sided with parents of disabled children, issuing a ruling that temporarily overturns an Iowa law that had prohibited schools from requiring masks during the pandemic.

In a ruling on Monday, US District Judge Robert Pratt wrote that he agreed with parents that the state law “substantially increases” the risk of children contracting COVID-19.

In May, Iowa’s Republican-led legislature passed a measure that barred schools from mandating that either students or staff wear face coverings, billing it as a victory for freedom and parents’ rights.

But in a lawsuit filed earlier this month, parents of disabled children argued that the prohibition effectively denied immunocompromised students their right to an education.

Judge Pratt found that argument persuasive, writing that he had reviewed the data himself and found it “overwhelmingly supports” the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Centers for Disease Control Prevention, both of which advise that masking not be made optional.

“The data further shows it is important for all students, staff, and teachers to wear masks to reduce the spread, not merely those who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death,” he wrote.

Monday’s ruling is a temporary restraining order that will remain in effect until the judge rules on plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction. For now, it means local school districts can move forward with mandates.

“The court is making it clear that students with disabilities have the right to go to school safely during this pandemic,” The Arc, a disability rights group that filed the lawsuit, said in a statement to Insider.

Catherine E. Johnson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, likewise praised Monday’s decision, saying Iowans would no longer need to choose between their child’s health or their ecucation.

“Effective today, parents no longer have to make this impossible choice, their children are entitled to both,” she said in a statement.

Although the order suggests that the court believes plaintiffs will ultimately prevail, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, said she would keep fighting.

“We will appeal and exercise every legal option we have to uphold state law and the defend the rights and liberties afforded to any American citizen protected by our constitution,” Reynolds said in a statement.

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A man suing 7 airlines plans to accuse them of a ‘conspiracy to interfere with civil rights’ – and says more people are joining his lawsuit

JetBlue planes are seen from above on a tarmac in Arizona in an interlocked pattern
The lawsuit against multiple airlines was filed in June.

  • A frequent flier suing seven airlines plans to broaden his lawsuit with new plaintiffs.
  • Lucas Wall said he plans on Monday to file an amended complaint with about 10 new plaintiffs.
  • Additional charges will include including “conspiracy to interfere with civil rights,” he said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A frequent flier suing seven US airlines said he plans to file an amended complaint on Monday, which will add multiple plaintiffs to his lawsuit over the airlines’ mask requirements.

Lucas Wall, of Washington DC, said via email on Friday that he planned to add new charges against the airlines, including “conspiracy to interfere with civil rights.”

Wall had previously told Insider: “It will be a stronger case with multiple plaintiffs showing the wide-ranging discrimination in the airline industry.”

The lawsuit was filed June in US District Court in Orlando against Southwest, Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit. Wall, who is representing himself, also has an ongoing lawsuit against the Biden administration.

Wall, in his original complaint against the airlines, claimed each had discriminated against those who couldn’t wear masks for medical reasons, including himself. In his initial court filings, he included his medical records for generalized anxiety disorder.

In conversations with Insider, several people who were expected to join the lawsuit as plaintiffs claimed they’d had experiences similar to Wall’s.

“The disabled are being criminalized during the pandemic – attacked, harassed, and blamed,” said Shannon Cila, of Kentucky, in an interview on Thursday.

Cila said her involvement with the case began after she was arrested in Kentucky while protesting pandemic measures including masks mandates. The arrest rattled her, she said.

“That set me up for a lot of anxiety, with having to deal with these mask exemptions, non-exemption policies, with private businesses everywhere, including airlines,” she said. “If you have an invisible disability, people look at you. They think because you’re not on an oxygen tank, or something – they can’t tell what your problem might be.”

Cila found Wall through his GoFundMe campaign, she said.

Uriel ben-Mordechai and his wife, Adi, planned to join the lawsuit, he said on Friday. He moved to Israel about four decades ago, but regularly flies back to the Bay Area and Southern California to visit family.

A Torah scholar and lecturer, ben-Mordechai said his decision to join Wall’s lawsuit was in part driven by his faith. He said he looked to Deuteronomy 16:20, part of which translates to “justice, pursue justice.”

“It tells you, you have to make justice happen and it’s not going to happen unless you do the part that God is giving you to do,” ben-Mordechai said in a phone interview from Israel.

Leonardo McDonnell, another traveller seeking to join Wall’s lawsuit, was more forceful in his language. “I will sue these sick tyrants’ granddaughters if the legal system lets me,” McDonnell, of Florida, said in an email when Insider reached out to him.

The airlines in late August filed their initial responses to Wall’s lawsuit. Each one sought to dismiss the case on technical grounds, saying in part that Wall didn’t have the standing to sue them in federal court under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Some legal experts and academics said they have doubts about whether the wave of lawsuits over federal mask requirements will put an end to Biden’s mandate, although they weren’t asked specifically about Wall’s case.

Others said there were flaws in the Biden administration’s argument that the mask mandates were not unconstitutional.

Paul Engel, founder of The Constitution Study, an online guide to the constitution, said the federal mandates were unconstitutional for a few reasons. The Fifth Amendment, for example, requires “due process of law,” he said.

“[G]overnments at all levels are prohibited from enforcing mask mandates until they have shown probable cause that the individual is a danger to others,” Engel said via email.

Monday is Wall’s deadline for filing an amended complaint.

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Anti-maskers are filing a wave of lawsuits against the CDC. Here’s why experts say their chances of victory are low.

A man in a mask stands under the curved terminal ceiling at John Wayne Airport in California
Masked travelers at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California.

  • Lawsuits attacking the constitutionality of masks are unlikely to succeed, legal experts said.
  • A wave of lawsuits have been filed against the Biden administration and local governments.
  • They were “exceedingly unlikely” to end the mask mandates, said Brendan Beery, a law professor.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A wave of lawsuits seeking to put an end to local, state, or federal mask mandates have hit US courts, but attorneys and legal scholars mostly say they’re fighting an uphill battle.

“Those challenging mask mandates would likely argue that the federal government lacks the power to impose them,” said Brendan Beery, a law professor at Western Michigan University. “But there are two areas where the federal government is explicitly authorized to regulate under the Constitution: federal property and interstate commerce.”

As such, the federal mask mandates put in place after President Joe Biden’s January executive order requiring travelers to wear masks would likely stand up to legal challenges, Beery said.

Legal challenges to masks have been filed in federal courts around the US. One plaintiff has filed lawsuits in both Indiana and Michigan.

The Biden administration has defended the mandates, saying in a filing in Florida court last month that they weren’t unconstitutional.

Such mandates are “one of the basic tradeoffs of living in a society, with a government that is authorized to make policy choices that individual citizens may not support,” lawyers for the Department of Justice wrote.

Insider spoke with a handful of attorneys and academics about the prospects of anti-mask lawsuits. The conversations were general and not related to any specific case.

Each person Insider spoke to used the word “unlikely” to describe the probability that one or more of the lawsuits would eventually remove federal mask mandates.

Beery, for example, said the lawsuits were “exceedingly unlikely” to make a difference. Others said they were “highly unlikely” to do so.

“It’s rather unlikely these lawsuits will change federal mandates,” said Minesh Patel, a founder and attorney at The Patel Firm, “because doing so would undermine the common-sense interpretations of certain public health statues.”

Mask mandates are supported by scientists at governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have both said that masks help stop the spread of COVID-19. They’ve both recommended that people who are fully vaccinated should continue wearing masks in areas with high transmission rates, including planes.

The Transportation Security Administration in August extended mask mandates through January 2022.

Collen Clark, lawyer and founder of Schmidt & Clark, said it was “highly unlikely” that those mask mandates would be eliminated through legal action from anti-maskers.

“The constitution has ultimately no problem whatsoever with the implementation of federal mask mandates,” Clark said via email.

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Adults laughed at a teen who was talking at a Tennessee school-board meeting about his grandmother dying of COVID-19, video shows

People demonstrate at an emergency meeting of the Brevard County, Florida School Board in Viera to discuss whether face masks in local schools should be mandatory.
People demonstrating at a meeting of the school board in Brevard County, Florida, to discuss whether face masks in local schools should be mandatory.

  • A high-school junior spoke at his district’s school-board meeting to advocate for masks in schools.
  • When he said his grandma died from COVID-19 “because someone wasn’t wearing a mask,” people laughed.
  • A board member said they were “ashamed” by the reactions of some people in the crowd.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Adults laughed at a teenager at a school-board meeting in Rutherford County, Tennessee, on Tuesday as he shared a devastating COVID-19 experience, video shows.

Grady Knox, a junior at Central Magnet School in Murfreesboro, was speaking out in favor of a mask mandate in his school, local news outlet WSMV reported.

“I’m worried about my family,” he said. “If I get COVID, I’m going to bring it to my family, and I talk to my grandparents a lot. They’re higher risk than me, so I don’t want to give them COVID.”

He specifically singled out his grandmother.

“This time last year, my grandmother, who was a former teacher at the Rutherford County school system, died of COVID because someone wasn’t wearing a mask,” he said, prompting laughter from some of the adults in the room.

Knox tried to continue speaking but was cut off by the jeering. A woman in the background can be seen laughing, smirking, and shaking her head, while another person is heard shouting, “Shut up!”

The chair of the board interrupted and urged the crowd to “act professional,” asking Knox to continue.

Knox told WSMV that he was “shaken a little bit” by the laughter, which he called “disrespectful.”

“It was complete insanity, from my perspective,” Knox said.

He told CNN that he heard the crowd behind him but couldn’t understand their reactions to a statement that was “so personal.”

“I hope that they can see that there’s people like me that want to see change and look past all of the hecklers,” Knox told WSMV, adding that he’s unfazed by the taunts and will continue advocating for a mask mandate.

“As long as I can get my message across, I don’t really think it matters what the crowd thinks of me,” he said.

Board member Claire Maxwell told WSMV that all seven members were “ashamed” by the crowd’s reaction.

Knox did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment for this story.

It was the latest school-board meeting to make national headlines as districts weigh decisions about masks and vaccines. Last month, a video from a meeting in another Tennessee county captured anti-mask parents screaming at other parents who supported masking in schools.

So far, at least eight Tennessee public school employees have died from COVID-19 within a month since the school year began, the Tennessee Lookout reported. Educators and community leaders are warning that the situation is dire, with many urging the Tennessee Department of Education to take action against the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

Members of the Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education sent a letter to Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, asking for flexibility with remote learning and other practices to strengthen COVID-19 measures.

“Our state’s families and educators are counting on strong, strategic leadership, and we believe that our state can and must do more to protect them and provide consistent instruction during this challenging time,” the group said.

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Biden’s vaccine mandate sparks furious reaction among Republican leaders, who are threatening to to sue him over the ‘cynical’ decision

President Joe Biden holds first lady Dr. Jill Biden's hand as they exit Air Force One
President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden in New York on Friday.

  • Republican state leaders vow to fight Biden’s vaccine mandate in court.
  • Under a plan announced Thursday, employers with 100 or more employees would require vaccinations.
  • “@JoeBiden see you in court,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republican state leaders vowed to fight President Joe Biden’s employer vaccine mandate, with many threatening legal action.

Biden on Thursday said all employers with 100 or more employees must require them to get shots or face weekly testing.

In announcing the plan, he said it was “not about freedom or personal choice,” but instead about protecting Americans.

“‘This is not about freedom’ is a phrase that should never come out of a U.S. President’s mouth,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee wrote on Twitter in response.

Other GOP state leaders threatened legal action. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said, “@JoeBiden see you in court.” Texas AG Ken Paxton said, “I will see you in court soon!” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said the state would take “any and all action” in her power “to stop this unprecedented power grab.”

Attorney generals in Kansas and Missouri were both considering lawsuits, The Kansas City Star reported. Indiana, Oklahoma, and Utah may also follow suit, local reports said.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said: “I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration.”

Biden on Thursday said more than 80 million Americans were still unvaccinated, despite the doses being “free, safe, and convenient.”

“These pandemic politics, as I refer to, are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die,” he added. “We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to life as normal.”

At the White House on Friday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if any of the governors criticizing Biden’s plan had reached out to the president or his office. Psaki said she didn’t have any info about such calls on hand.

“We are in touch with a range of governors – Democratic and Republican – every week, if not more frequently, about a range of topics, including our efforts to address the pandemic,” she said.

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Texas AG sues 6 school districts over mask mandates as almost 100 districts defy Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order to ban them

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton waves in a suit in front of an oversized American flag
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

  • Texas AG Ken Paxton on Friday said he sued six school districts for defying a ban on mask mandates.
  • In a statement, Paxton accused the districts of “unlawful political maneuvering.”
  • One district said it would “allow the courts to decide the merits of the case,” UPI reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday sued six school districts, saying their mask mandates defied a statewide ban.

“Not only are superintendents across Texas openly violating state law, but they are using district resources – that ought to be used for teacher merit raises or other educational benefits – to defend their unlawful political maneuvering,” Paxton said in a statement on Friday.

The districts were in violation of both the Texas Disaster Act and an executive order signed by Governor Greg Abbott in July, Paxton said. That executive order banned mask mandates put in place by state or local governments, with exemptions for hospitals and the criminal justice system.

Paxton’s office also published a list of almost 100 school districts and other government entities that it said were defying Abbott’s ban. Paxton said another round of lawsuits might be filed against other districts.

The six school districts sued on Friday – Richardson, Round Rock, Galveston, Elgin, Spring, and Sherman – were each hit with a lawsuit, Paxton said.

Officials with the Spring district said they would “allow the courts to decide the merits of the case.” They added that they only knew about the lawsuit because of Paxton’s press statement, UPI reported.

In his statement, Paxton said the school districts should spend their money on education, not fighting statewide policies.

He said: “If districts choose to spend their money on legal fees, they must do so knowing that my office is ready and willing to litigate these cases. I have full confidence that the courts will side with the law – not acts of political defiance.”

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The Australian island state of Tasmania, with zero COVID-19 cases, is mandating masks for big outdoor events

Fans arrive for the 2021 AFL First Elimination Final match between the Western Bulldogs and the Essendon Bombers at University of Tasmania Stadium on August 29, 2021 in Launceston, Australia.
Fans arrive for the 2021 AFL First Elimination Final match between the Western Bulldogs and the Essendon Bombers at University of Tasmania Stadium on August 29, 2021 in Launceston, Australia.

  • Tasmania, an Australian state with zero current COVID-19 cases, has introduced a new mask mandate.
  • People at indoor or outdoor events of more than 1,000 people will need a mask from September 18.
  • Officials said it was a “common sense” way to stop an infected person passing on COVID-19.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

People in Tasmania, Australia, will need masks for large outdoor events such as sports matches, despite the island state recording zero current COVID-19 cases.

Officials announced Friday that masks would be compulsory – regardless of vaccination status – from midnight on September 18 for both outdoor and indoor events of more than 1,000 people.

Peter Gutwein, premier of Tasmania, said in a statement Friday that it was a “common sense approach” to stop COVID-19 spreading, should an infected person be present at events where social-distancing can be difficult.

Mark Veitch, Tasmania’s director of Public Health, said in a briefing that requiring masks gave him and “others approving these events some comfort that there’s a step been taking to mitigate the risk of those large numbers of people assembling and we can more confidently enable those events to proceed.”

“We want to enable events to occur from here onwards as we increase our vaccination coverage and we want to be able to do it in an increasingly risky environment,” he said, as reported by ABC.

Zero COVID-19 cases

Nobody in Tasmania has COVID-19, according to state data.

The state, with a population of more than 540,000, has recorded 235 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to government statistics. It has an infection rate less than one tenth of New South Wales – home to Australia’s capital Sydney, according to government data.

In the US, which has far more COVID-19 cases per person than Australia, most states do not have a mask mandate, including for large outdoor events.

Officials also announced Friday that vaccines would be mandatory for health workers and anyone else that provides private or public health care, such as Department of Health employees. The aim is to vaccinate at least 80% of the population before the end of October, they said.

Tasmania, located off the south-east coast of Australia, has the second-highest vaccine rate of any Australian state, having fully vaccinated 47.8% of its population, according to national statistics.

Australia’s average is 32.6%, according to Johns Hopkins University. For comparison, roughly 54% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

Tasmania’s borders remain shut to certain Australian states, including New South Wales, Victoria, and Australian Capital Territory, but are open to the rest of the country.

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Adults laughed at a teen who was talking about his grandmother dying of COVID-19 during a school board meeting in Tennessee, video shows

People demonstrate at an emergency meeting of the Brevard County, Florida School Board in Viera to discuss whether face masks in local schools should be mandatory.
People demonstrate at an emergency meeting of the Brevard County, Florida School Board on Monday to discuss whether face masks in local schools should be mandatory.

  • A high school junior spoke at his district’s school board meeting to advocate for masks in schools.
  • He said his grandma died from COVID-19 “because someone wasn’t wearing a mask,” prompting laughter from the crowd.
  • A school board member said they were “ashamed” by the reactions of some in the crowd.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Adults laughed at a teenager as he shared his personal experience with COVID-19 at the Rutherford County school board meeting in Tennessee on Tuesday, according to a video of the incident shared online.

The teen, Grady Knox, who is a junior at Central Magnet School in Murfreesboro, was speaking at the meeting to advocate for a mask mandate in his school, local outlet WSMV reported.

“I’m worried about my family. If I get COVID, I’m going to bring it to my family, and I talk to my grandparents a lot. They’re higher risk than me, so I don’t want to give them COVID,” Knox said into the microphone.

“This time last year, my grandmother, who was a former teacher at the Rutherford County school system, died of COVID, because someone wasn’t wearing a mask,” he continued, prompting laughs from some of the adults in the room, the video shows.

Knox tried to continue speaking, but was cut off by the jeering. A woman in the background of the video can be seen laughing, smirking, and shaking her head, while another person is heard shouting “shut up!”

The school board chairman spoke up to tell the crowd to “act professional” and tell Knox he could continue.

Knox told WSMV that he was “shaken a little bit” by the laughter, which he called “disrespectful.” He told CNN he heard the crowd behind him but “couldn’t understand why people would react like that to a statement I made that’s so personal.”

Rutherford County school board member Claire Maxwell told WSMV that all seven members of the board were “ashamed” by the reaction of the crowd.

Knox did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment for this story.

The incident was the latest school board meeting to make national headlines as districts weigh decisions about masks and vaccines. Last month, a video taken at a meeting in another Tennessee county captured anti-mask parents screaming at other parents who support masking in schools.

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Video shows Michigan parents encouraging kids to violate school mask mandate after the county updated its COVID-19 policy

High school students wear mask while walking into school.
Students at a Florida high school, walk to the campus on their first day of school, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021

  • Video shows a group of parents urging unmasked students to enter their school and defy a county mask mandate.
  • The incident occurred in Manchester, Michigan, on Tuesday.
  • The district initially made masks optional, but a county public health order overrode the rule on Tuesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A group of Michigan parents urged several unmasked high school students to defy the district’s mask mandate and bypass school officials to enter campus maskless, a viral video shows.

Video of the incident, which occurred at Manchester Junior & Senior High School in Washtenaw County, Michigan, on Tuesday, shows a sheriff’s deputy telling parents that he is unable to enforce the order in place requiring people entering the school to wear masks.

“I’m not going to force anybody. I’m not putting masks on anybody. That’s not my job,” the deputy can be heard saying. “This is a county health department order and a policy of this school.”

After being told that the sheriff’s deputy overseeing the situation would not in fact enforce entering students to wear masks, the crowd of parents began to urge their kids to enter the building without face coverings.

“They can go in, guys,” one man can be heard saying. “Go on in, guys. They can’t enforce it.”

Two masked school employees can be seen standing at the entrance to the building, blocking the crowd of unmasked students from entering.

“You guys, they can’t touch you. Just go ahead and go in,” the man says.

Eventually, the group of students cross the threshold and enter the building to resounding cheers from the watching parents.

“Be kind and respectful,” the same man says as the students enter.

Manchester Community Schools initially had a mask-optional policy in its schools, but an emergency county health order requiring the face coverings in schools went into effect on Tuesday, overriding the district’s policy, local station WDIV reported.

The Manchester Community Schools district and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The Detroit Free Press reported that upon entering the building, the group of unmasked students was isolated and not allowed to mingle with other students inside the school.

“It was a fairly small group of people. What they did was go ahead and allow those unmasked individuals into the school buildings, but then they were in a separate area, I believe the library or some other separate space,” Susan Ringler Cerniglia, a spokesperson for the county health department told the outlet. “So those students basically spent the day in that area and didn’t attend classes or mix with other students.”

Manchester Community Schools Superintendent Brad Bezeau told WDIV that the district “sent out communications” on Tuesday evening regarding the incident, and students came to school the next day “peacefully” and with masks on.

The county sheriff’s office told the station that its deputy was not permitted to enforce the mask policy because the department’s policy is to not cite people for defying the public health order.

“Law enforcement is there to keep the peace, help keep people calm, to de-escalate situations, to explain, and to advise. We are not there to cite people for PH (public health) violation. It can become a legal/enforceable action if things get out of hand and some other enforceable action is needed like an assault or destruction of property,” a representative from the sheriff’s office told WDIV.

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