CLAY COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) – A Clay County couple has filed suit against the Illinois State Board of Education and its director Dr. Carmen I. Ayala, and the Illinois Department of Public Health and its director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike over recently announced guidelines for returning to school in the fall.

James and Kali Mainer are suing both departments and the directors claiming the requirements for students to return to class would deprive their three children of “their right to an education”.

Earlier this month, IDPH, ISBE, and Governor Pritzker announced that schools can reopen if students and staff wore protective face coverings, limited gatherings to less than 50 people, required social distancing and conduct COVID-19 symptom screenings and temperature checks when students and staff enter the school building.

According to the lawsuit, the Mainer’s claim “the implementation of the directive will cause immediate and irreparable damage to the Mainer’s, as among other things, The Mainer’s minor children’s right to and education is being placed in jeopardy with these unlawful and arbitrary and capricious guidelines.”

The Mainer’s attorney, Thomas DeVore, wrote in his motion that the couple have “protected rights and interests at stake to be free from unlawful, arbitrary and capricious rule making.”

In a motion to the court, the couple is asking that a judge order a temporary restraining order preventing IDPH, IBSE and its directors from enforcing the face mask requirement, temperature check requirement, and limitation on groups of more than 50 people.

A hearing on the request is set for July 2nd at 1:00 in a Clay County Courtroom.

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