OEA president previews coming court battle over mask prohibition law


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Education Association is educating schools on what they can and can’t do during a limited temporary injunction of a law prohibiting mask requirements.

The law was the subject of a recent lawsuit by the Oklahoma State Medical Association and a group of parents.

OEA President Katherine Bishop detailed schools’ abilities to implement requirements as they wait for the matter to be taken up in court.

She says schools can now implement requirements not only for students but also for staff and visitors.

“For school personnel and visitors, because that written order was silent, then you go to the federal exemption which are medical and religious,” she said.

The bill also prevents school boards from requiring vaccinations. Bishop says that part of the law will also be explored in court.

“When the judge takes up the full merits of the case, then they’ll look at that as well,” she said.

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor has since appealed that injunction, arguing the law is constitutional. And the Associated Press reports the State Supreme Court will expedite that appeal, giving O’Connor 20 days to file briefs in the case and opponents 20 days to respond.

Bishop says the OEA has already taken action in anticipation of that ruling.

“Our OEA Board of Directors passed a resolution and plan of action to support the OSMA in their lawsuit,” she said. “We stand with our medical professionals.”

Whatever happens, she says they’ll have numerous ways of getting information on any changes out to the public.

“[We’ll be] partnering with [the OSMA] to set up community town halls, whatever way is safe to do that, so that we can help answer questions and get information out ,” she said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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