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Federal Appeals Court Orders Masking Policy To Be Enforced In Upper St. Clair School District

UPPER ST. CLAIR (KDKA) -- For students in one of the largest school districts in Western Pennsylvania, they'll be required to pack a mask for classes on Monday.

A federal appeals judge granted an emergency ruling to require universal masking, despite the Upper St. Clair school board's voting to make masks optional two weeks ago.

This means that everyone will have to wear a mask in the Upper St. Clair School District.

On Sunday, a federal appeals judge with the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency request for a restraining order to continue universal masking.

An attorney representing five at-risk students requested this order because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, arguing that optional masking puts students in jeopardy and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The order reverses a ruling made Friday by a U.S. District judge who rejected the emergency motion.

That judge said granting the restraining order would "damage the independence and authority" of the school board.

"The order is very temporary in that it is only in place until there is a panel of three judges who are going to hear an argument later this week, most likely maybe Friday," said Attorney Ken Behrend, who is representing the five students in this case.

As a result of the restraining order being granted, masks will no longer be optional for students and staff.

Stay with KDKA for the latest developments on this story. 

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