Good Afternoon GCCS Community,
Last night, a state supreme court judge in Nassau County ruled that the state's mask mandate for schools is unlawful. In his written opinion, the judge asserted that the authority to implement such a mandate rests not with an executive agency (the Department of Health), but rather with the state legislature. Ironically, a state supreme court judge in Albany County recently upheld the legality of the state's mask mandate for schools, so clearly there are conflicting legal opinions at the supreme court level. This morning the Department of Health has filed an appeal of the Nassau County decision which stays the trial court’s decision. This means the mask mandate is still in place.
Additionally, last night, NYSED issued a guidance document directing school districts to continue to mask on school property. NYSED does have the legal authority to regulate school districts.
Our board has already adopted a mask policy and until the courts rule otherwise we will be staying with what we have. I have reached out to the Schoharie County DOH to see if their recommendations have changed. As of now, they have not.
We appreciate your patience while we navigate all of this conflicting guidance and we will continue to do what is required to keep our staff, students/families, and community informed and safe.