Parent of Pike County student sues over mask mandate

The federal lawsuit claims the school district's mask policy unlawfully deprives students and others of constitutionally-protected interests without due process of law.

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The father of a Pike County student and another man filed a federal lawsuit this week over the school district’s mask mandate, according to court documents.

The lawsuit from Mikey Ratliff and Levi Newsom names the Pike County Board of Education and Superintendent Reed Adkins.  The student is identified only as N.R. in the lawsuit.

The suit claims the mask mandate causes immediate and irreparable harm to students, staff and community.

Mikey Ratliff in the suit claims his child has suffered immediate and irreparably injury, loss, and damage because the child was required to wear a mask, which he claims in the suit is not only unsupported by science, but which also results in the possible resulting measurable drop in oxygen saturation of the blood on one hand and the increase in carbon dioxide on the other, which contributes to an increased noradrenergic stress response, with heart rate increase and respiratory rate increases and, in some cases, a significant blood pressure increase.

The suit claims the school district’s implementation of the mask policy unlawfully deprives students and others in school of constitutionally-protected interests without due process of law.

The school district has a mask mandate for all students and staff riding school buses and in school buildings, regardless of vaccination status when the COVID incidence rate map is in the red or orange.  When the incidence rate map is in yellow or green for three or more consecutive days, masking is encouraged and recommended, but is optional, according to the school district.

The lawsuit was filed Oct. 13, 2021 in U.S. District Court at Pikeville.

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