No Decision Yet; Judge takes Mask Mandate Lawsuit Under Advisement

Coffee County Central High School student Nico Sanfilippo and his mother Heather Murchison were in court on Tuesday after they filed a lawsuit against Director of Coffee County Schools Dr. Charles Lawson and the Coffee County Board of Education.

The complaint alleges the mask mandate approved by the school board violates state law.

Murchison filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief.

Judge Venessa Jackson heard from both sides of the issue and decided to take it under advisement for around 3 weeks before making a decision.

Murchison is asking the court to enter a judgement finding that the board’s mandate is illegal because it denied Nico equal access to education opportunities. Plaintiff also asks that the court enter a temporary injunction prohibiting defendants from enforcing the board’s mandate. The plaintiffs ask to be awarded their costs and attorney fees necessitated by this action, according to the complaint.

The school board’s attorney has said the system is well within their legal rights to make a mask requirement as was done at the board meeting on August 10.

Before the hearing on Tuesday a peaceful protest to show support for Nico was held outside the Coffee County Courthouse with between 25-30 people attended.

Peaceful protest was held just prior to the court hearing. Photo by Barry West

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. News and Sports Director for Rooster 101.5 FM, 93.9 The Duck and Whiskey Country 105.1, and 95.9. He is currently the play-by-play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders (31 years) on The Rooster 101.5 and can be heard M-F broadcasting our local news. Lucky has done play-by-play for 4,002 (and counting) sports events on Radio & TV. He also served four years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for six years at Grundy County High School.

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