(Note: This story has been updated with comment from Warren Norred, who’s representing Siino in this case)
Highland Park ISD parent Spencer Siino filed a court petition asking for pre-suit depositions from district staff members and school board members about the district’s mask policy.
The school district has required masks since opening for in-person instruction last fall but shared in a letter to parents Tuesday that masks would be optional beginning next school year.
Siino argued in court documents that the district’s mask policy “resulted in a denial of a proper education of his son.”
Siino is represented by Norred Law in Arlington, court documents show. Norred represents parents from other North Texas school districts in similar actions, WFAA reported.
My expectation is that HP ISD will call this moot now, but I expect that we’ll go forward,” Warren Norred said. “We hope to ensure that HP ISD recognizes what it did wrong in adopting and maintaining an irrational mask policy.”
Siino in a previous press release sent to People Newspapers identified himself as a co-founder of Park Cities Parents Unite, a 501c4 organization established last fall that has called for the district to phase out mask wearing and other COVID-19 restrictions, and, according to the group’s Facebook page and website, has put out mailers decrying “‘woke’ education.”
HPISD chief of staff and director of communications Jon Dahlander didn’t address the court filing when asked about it, but said about the district’s mask policy that “we have been discussing our plans for next year internally for a while.”
HPISD trustee Tom Sharpe said during the April school board meeting that the mask requirement helped staff members feel safe returning to campuses this school year, but predicted the 2021-2022 school year would look more like pre-pandemic normal as more staff members get vaccinated and case numbers fall in the district.