PXU Mask Mandate Lawsuit

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Ellie Bonnette, Assistant Editor-In-Chief

On July 30th, Dr. Chad Geston, Phoenix Union High School Superintendent, announced that all staff, students, and visitors must wear masks indoors, despite Governor Ducey’s policy banning mask mandates in public places. While this decision was praised by President Biden, this mandate spewed controversy amongst PXU parents, students and teachers. One PXU employee, Metro Tech biology teacher Douglas Hester even sued the district, its governing board, and its superintendent in the Maricopa County Superior Court.

According to azcentral, Mr. Hester “…alleges Phoenix Union’s governing board lacks the legal authority to require masks.” Hester’s attorney explains that no school district is above the law.

On August 16th, a judge ruled in favor of PXU’s mask mandate, and essentially stated that the mandate doesn’t violate state law because Governor Ducey’s prohibition on mask mandates will not have gone into effect until September 29th. However, the judge did rule that Mr. Hester is able to keep his lawsuit open and continue to “fight” until further notice. 

There are certainly PXU students and teachers who support this mandate. Central High School English teacher, Mr. Bonnette states, “I don’t mind the mandate because it promotes general welfare. Last I checked, that was in the Constitution. And something else, I don’t feel that wearing a piece of cloth over my face is unsecuring my blessings of liberty.”

For now, stay tuned for September 29th when we will find out if Phoenix Union will continue to uphold their mask mandate. To mask? Or not to mask? That is the question.