Teacher Douglas Hester filed a lawsuit Monday against the Phoenix Union High School District and its governing board, along with superintendent Chad Gestson, requesting that the court declare the district’s mask policy contrary to the law, according to the complaint.
“No school district is above the law, and we are pleased to take action on behalf of this brave teacher to ensure government bodies follow state law,” Hester’s attorney, Alexander Kolodin, told CNN in an emailed statement Tuesday.
A ban on requiring students and staff to wear masks in Arizona schools was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey in June, but there is a dispute over when it goes into effect because the law was passed retroactive to June 30. In Arizona, laws go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns.
The district’s school year began Monday, according to the complaint.
“Recently, we have heard from our staff, students, and families that they want us to realign our mitigation practices with the guidelines and recommendations of national and local health agencies,” the announcement said.
Gestson did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment Tuesday evening.
“The Phoenix Elementary School District will continue to use science and follow guidelines from federal, state, and county health experts to safely reopen schools,” the district said in a news release. “We know that our children learn best in person, and we will implement mitigation strategies that help to minimize the spread of illnesses, reduce the need for quarantining, and avoid classroom and school closures.”