Parents Union School Mask Lawsuit winning in Providence; Delayed Again in Superior Court

The relentless legal pressure applied by attorney Gregory Piccirilli, representing dozens of Parents Union plaintiffs, is producing major dividends, despite efforts by the McKee administration and the RI Department of Health to quash their lawsuit actions.

In the original Southwell v McKee school mask mandate lawsuit brought by the Parents Union plaintiffs, the State of Rhode Island and its Department of Health have deployed every delaying tactic imaginable to avoid handing over “discovery” documents.

However, after failing to have the lawsuit thrown out of Superior Court, the State has apparently played its last card. The Ocean State Current has learned that the State of Rhode Island has promised one final two-day delay before complying with yesterday’s deadline of March 30  to turn over the requested documents.

Continuation of the Southwell lawsuit against the McKee administration and the RIDOH could prove disastrous for the State, especially when it comes to the public scrutiny of potentially embarrassing internal documents, as part of the legal discovery process; documents that are presumed to illustrate the arbitrary process and specious medical science that supported Rhode Island’s K-12 school mask mandate imposed last fall.

This Friday now appears to be D-Day.

In Providence schools, after threatening to file a new lawsuit on behalf of concerned Providence parents, Piccirilli was informed by attorneys for the State that the school district would soon be dropping its school mask mandated, ordered by the RI Department of Education, which essentially runs the capitol city’s school system.

Yet, in a dubious move, Superintendent Javier Montanez quickly put out a survey to teachers, parents, and students in the Providence school district … seeking their sentiments about maintaining or removing mask mandates on their children.

“Was this survey a desperate attempt to find a reason to keep the masks on? Or, a move to drum up data to support a decision that’s already been made among top-level staff,” inquired Laurie Gaddis Barrett, organizer of the Parents Union plaintiffs. “Either way, parents in Providence are not impressed. They just want the option to make the choice that is right for their own children and their own families.”


Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?

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