A temporary restraining order that was filed last month against the Carlyle Community Unit School District #1 for students to not have to be required to wear masks has expired after a Clinton County judge vacated the order at a hearing last Friday.
    Judge Don Sheafor vacated the temporary restraining order that was filed against the district last month, after the school's attorney, Luke Feeney, stated that the order was not valid because the Governor, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) were not named in the suit.
    Last month, Sheafor ruled that students in the entire Carlyle School District cannot be forced to wear masks without an official quarantine order from the health department.
    Sheafor issued a temporary restraining order against the school district for 30 days after a Carlyle parent filed suit against the mask mandates, stating that they had no authority to require their children to wear masks, unless there was a  quarantine order from the Clinton County Health Department.

    Their attorney, Tom DeVore of Greenville, argued that a mask is a device intended, allegedly, to limit disease transmission.  
    In addition, the authority was limited to the power within the laws established for quarantine, which is the local health department.
    Sheafor said at the time that Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education were not added to the suit, and the governor could have intervened at the time.
    "I feel sorry for the school district," Sheafor said at the time. "This should be the governor's fight and not the school's. He (the governor) could have intervened."
    He added that the school district seemed to be the one to get the "brunt" of it all.
    A hearing on the temporary restraining order was held Friday morning via Zoom, wherein the judge then vacated the order after Feeney stated that the Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon ruled in a case in Bond County that the temporary restraining order was not valid because it only named Carlyle School, and not Gov. Pritzker, ISBE, and/or IDPH.
    After Friday’s hearing, Carlyle Superintendent Annie Gray stated that due to the results of the hearing, the district will go back to masks being required, beginning the following Monday, Oct. 18, per the current mandate.
    “I understand more than anyone that going back and forth between masks being required and not being required is very frustrating,” she wrote. “The back and forth makes it harder on all of us. The longer the debate continues the bigger divide it is creating within the community and the inconsistencies do not help.”
    She said that the COVID numbers have been “very good” and would love more than anything to be able to make decisions based on the school district’s internal data.
    “That is still my goal and I will continue to advocate for local control,” she said. “In the meantime, I do not want to put any of our students' education in jeopardy, nor can I stomach the thought of our students missing any additional extracurricular activities. Our students have missed out on enough the past 19 months.”
    There were no further court settings in the case, due to DeVore consolidating the Carlyle case with other court cases.