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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Parents of Catholic schoolchildren in Washington, D.C. are suing Mayor Muriel Bowser for continuing to require masks for grade school and high school students while lifting the requirement for bars, concerts, and sports venues.

The parents, Sheila Dugan and Matthew Johnson, the Daily Wire reported, are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

“The lawsuit comes after ADF attorneys sent a letter last Monday to the director of the DC Department of Health requesting that the mayor and department officials lift the mask mandate for children, staff, and teachers at religious schools,” the law firm said in a recent press release.

The plaintiffs send their children to a Catholic school located in the District. However, as the lawsuit states, “The  Catholic school they have chosen for their children’s formation and education is subject to a mask mandate, even though a litany of comparable secular and religious activities — such as eating in a restaurant, working out at the gym, attending a concert and sporting event, going to the movies, or attending Mass — are not subject to Defendants’ mask mandate.”

“Defendants’ mandate requiring the children to wear masks in their Catholic school classrooms while allowing children and adults to not wear masks nearly everywhere else — is arbitrary, unscientific, and irrational,” the lawsuit argues. “Under Defendants’ policy, a child could sit for hours at the Wizards game at the crowded Capital One Arena without wearing a mask, but she must cover her face for seven hours a day, the moment she steps into her Catholic school building.”

Arguing that the mandate introduces inequality under the law for schools, the lawsuit maintains that the mayor is “unconstitutionally burdening Catholic schools and treating them unequally.” Plaintiffs also argue that the seven hours of wearing a mask during the school day has “substantially detrimental effects on” on their children’s religious education.

“The masks — although they may seem trivial for most adults who only had to wear them for short periods of time before and now do not even have to wear them almost anywhere in the District — impose a substantial and significant burden on the children’s religious education.”

The lawsuit points out that for children, among the adverse effects of wearing a mask for hours on end are headaches, occasional dizziness, difficulty breathing, and physical discomfort.

The harmful effects, both physical and psychological, of masks on children, as well as their extremely low risk of catching or suffering from Covid, has been noted by many over the course of the pandemic.


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