Earlier this week, the Attorney General issued a letter regarding a recent court ruling that impacts the authority of local health agencies (LHAs) to issue public health orders. The ruling would also seemingly affect school districts with mask policies in place, but only if they rely solely on LHAs control measures. In short, the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA) explains in an alert sent to their members that, “a school district’s authority and obligation to prevent the spread of contagious diseases in schools has not been impacted.”
Under state law, Statute 167.191 ensures that districts still have the ability to protect their students and staff. In addition to this state law, there are state rules and regulations that allow districts to adopt policies to protect students and staff. State regulation, 19 CSR 20-20.030(1), regarding exclusion from school if an individual has or is “liable to transmit” a communicable disease, including COVID-19, is still in effect; so those individuals can be excluded from school.
If a school district only follows state, county or local health orders, it may be necessary to implement a policy that permits the measures outlined in 19 CSR 20-20.030(1).
MSTA’s Adopted Resolutions support local school districts developing, approving and disseminating a local policy that prioritizes the health and safety of students and employees with input from school personnel and the community. The policy must describe the health and safety measures the district will take to mitigate and respond to public health threats, including what actions the school district will take in response to a confirmed contagious disease in the district.
MSTA members should reach out to district administration to find out what the district’s next steps are to protect students and staff.
If you or your CTA needs assistance from MSTA addressing this matter with administration, please contact your member service coordinator so that we can help you accomplish what’s in the best interest of district faculty, staff and most importantly, students.
Read the MSBA Statement.