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Episcopal School of Jacksonville is violating the rights of parents by requiring face masks on unvaccinated students, Jacksonville residents whose children attend the school claim in a lawsuit.

A group of parents is asking for an injunction to stop the school from requiring children to wear masks.

Episcopal has made a “severe and unwarranted intrusion into the fundamental rights of the parents,” the lawsuit filed by Daniel Bean of Abel Bean Law P.A. alleges.

“Defendants have taken it upon themselves to usurp the fundamental rights of the parent to make medical and healthcare-related decisions that the parent determines are in the best interests of the minor child.”

The complaint cites the “Bills of Rights” law in Florida and an executive order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The law prohibits any government entity or “any other institution” from violating parents’ rights to make healthcare decisions for their minor children.

DeSantis said forcing students to wear masks lacks a well-grounded scientific justification.

Episcopal claims the order does not apply to the school.

While the order does not apply directly, the suit contends, the order “when coupled with the applicable provisions of the Florida Constitution and statutory law is instructive and persuasive.”

Furthermore, the school’s order did not cite any religious reason but instead presented it as a medical matter.

“Episcopal has not demonstrated, and cannot demonstrate, that there is a level of imminent and immediate threat to allow Episcopal to overcome the rights of parents on this issue,” the parents say.

Episcopal has made no exemption for unvaccinated children when the child is too young to get vaccinated or has tested positive for the coronavirus, the suit alleges.

Episcopal administrators were quoted in the media as saying parents could opt out of the requirement to wear a mask.

The parents say they have seen no such option or any provision to take it, except for children who have been vaccinated.

One said the school should simply adopt what the government schools in Jacksonville have done.

Plaintiffs are seeking an immediate hearing on the issue. The violation of parental rights is becoming a troubling issue nationwide. The suit brings it to front and center, in Jacksonville, and deserves a quick resolution.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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