OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that a 2021 state law takes away too much local control from Sooner State school districts.
It’s been more than a year since a lawsuit by Oklahoma parents and the Oklahoma State Medical Association was filed after Stitt signed Senate Bill 658, which prohibits Oklahoma schools from requiring students and staff to a wear a face mask unless the governor were to declare a sate of emergency.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled against that stipulation, saying it ‘usurps’ local control.
“The statutes go far beyond a delegation of rulemaking authority,” the suit documents said. “…it requires the Governor to exercise legislative authority over school boards, and as such, is impermissible.”
In the majority conclusion, Justice Yvonne Kauger wrote,
“The statutes remove the school board’s authority to act independently… and it grants that authority to the Governor – who has neither constitutional nor statutory authority over the operation of schools.”
The Justices ruled the law can remain but the clause, “and when the jurisdiction of where the board is located is under a current state of emergency declared by the Governor,” must be stricken from it – restoring mask mandate power to local school districts.
Read the full conclusion here: