News Story

Mask Mandates A Problem For Kindergartners

Legal complaint claims five-year-old children struggle under state health department order

A private Catholic school has filed a legal complaint over a state order that students from kindergarten to fifth grade wear face masks.

The complaint was filed Oct. 22 by the Church of the Resurrection school, which is located in Lansing. The complaint was filed against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Ingham County Health Department.

The school cited a particular kindergartner to show why the complaint was filed. The child is said to be shy and the face mask hinders her ability to be heard, socialize and acclimate to new surroundings. The student also has trouble pronouncing certain letters and wearing a face mask exacerbates her struggles and hinders her ability to learn, according to the school.

It is also difficult for the student to handle the face mask properly and it is difficult for her to keep it clean or from falling onto the floor.

She also has seasonal allergies for which she takes medication, and the face mask make it more difficult for her to breathe, the school said.

On Oct. 29, the school took to Facebook to further clarify the problem and the solution it seeks.

“We are NOT contesting masks for teachers, older students in classrooms, or younger students when they are in a mixed groups,” The school posted on Facebook. “But we are contesting masks for younger children when socially distanced in their own classrooms.”

Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said the state’s order is lawful.

“MDHHS is confident that that the epidemic order is lawful,” Sutfin said in an email. “MDHHS Director Robert Gordon issued the order under a different law than the law invalidated by the Michigan Supreme Court. The law under which Director Gordon acted was enacted by the Michigan Legislature specifically to deal with epidemics.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.