After Gov. Inslee announced a mandatory policy for K-12 children and all staff in WA state to have to wear masks for the upcoming 2021-22 school year--at least the beginning--a Kennewick law firm has pulled back on it's exemption form.
Celski Law Firm of Kennewick, who has fought for businesses to stay open and other causes during the pandemic, had been providing a form to parents for a mask exemption.
It read in part:
"Please fill this form out in full. Copy, Paste, fill out and print. One form per child. Please mail this form (or if you are by our office, drop
it by) along with a prepaid, self-addressed envelope and a check/money order/cashier’s check in the amount
of $100.00 per child made payable to “Celski Law Firm, PLLC” located at 6725 W. Clearwater Ave,
Kennewick, WA 99336.
The exemption that you shall receive is in compliance with K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for Summer 2021 and the 2021-22 School year per the Washington State Department of Health (D.O.H.) summary and changes effective as of July 6, 2021. IF IT IS A RISK FOR YOUR CHILD TO WEAR A CLOTH OR ANY OTHER FACE COVERING, BY CHECKING THE TWO APPROPRIATE BOXES BELOW, YOUR CHILD WILL RECEIVE AN EXEMPTION LETTER FROM OUR LAW FIRM."
However, in the wake of Gov. Inslee's statement Wednesday that school districts do not have jurisdiction or choice in the matter, Celski then added this statement to their page:
"*UPDATE ON MASK EXEMPTIONS*
With the new regulations coming down, unfortunately, our loophole has been effectively closed. We will be sending back refund checks to all who have paid. Also, this is NOT the end, we will continue to research this and once we find another way, we will be keeping all of our followers updated. We will continue to fight for our rights!"
Apparently according to the Department of Health
, per previous 'modified' proclamations from the Governor and Secretary of Health, the information issued Wednesday will be the 'required' operating procedure for schools. It is believed this language or changes to the policy is the loophole referenced by Celski Law Firm.
Because school children, especially K-6 or 12 and under are, according to the state, not eligible yet for the vaccine, these changes were made.
"The governor stated that his decision is due to the impacts of the COVID-19 Delta variant and increasing case counts, especially in school-aged children. Please note that this is a legal requirement that applies to all public schools in Washington State and cannot be changed by local district school boards."
We will update this story as more information develops.
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