Mask Update (1/25/2022)

Fort Edward School Mask Policy
Posted on 01/25/2022

Last evening (1-24-22), we became aware of the court case from Nassau County, NY, in which the County Supreme Court Thomas Rademaker issued a ruling that the state Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60. The case is called Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. 

Subsequently, schools received the following directive from the State Education Department

“A state judge on Long Island has ruled that the state’s mask mandate is unconstitutional and a violation of state law, but more litigation is expected. As a result, nothing changes for schools, according to a statement from the State Education Department (SED).

"It is SED’s understanding that the Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling," according to SED’s statement, which was sent to superintendents. "Therefore, schools must continue to follow the mask rule.”

Due to the directive we received we will continue to abide by the State Education Department’s direction as we learn more about the ruling, we are in consultation with our school attorney regarding the matter and following their legal guidance as this matter plays out.  The NYS Health Department has already filed an appeal with a higher court and.

As of this moment, we don’t have any additional information to share, but please know as soon as we have additional information we will pass it along to your attention.

As always, thank you for all of your efforts to partner with us to keep our schools open this year. 

Update 1/25/2022

This afternoon, the Appellate Division, Second Department of the Courts of New York heard a preliminary hearing for the appeal of the Nassau County Supreme Court decision from yesterday.  Following that hearing, Judge Miller granted the application for appeal by the Department of Health and the Governor’s Office through Friday, January 28th to permit the parties an opportunity for additional presentations.

As a result, all public school districts in New York State remain subject to the Department of Health masking regulation through the proceedings on January 28th and the subsequent determination.

The district will continue to monitor any and all proceedings and work to keep you as informed as possible.

The district realizes that last night and today was a confusing and frustrating time and we share those feelings with you.  We continue to appreciate your patience and support as we work together during this challenging time.