Some New York schools drop mask mandates after state Supreme Court ruling

The governor and state Department of Education told schools to continue enforcing the mask mandate on Tuesday
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Kathy Hochul at vaccination site
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at vaccination site while serving as lt. governor, Jan. 21, 2021.
(Raychel Brightman/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

Some school in New York have decide to drop the state's COVID mask mandate following a ruling Monday by a New York's Supreme Court that said Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state's Department of Health lack the authority to enact such a measure without approval from the legislature.

The schools have suspended the mandate, despite the state's Department of Education saying they still "must continue to follow the mask rule."

"It is [our] understanding that the [state] Department of Health will appeal the Nassau County Supreme Court decision, which will result in an automatic stay that will unambiguously restore the mask rule until such time as an appellate court issues a further ruling," the education department said in a statement released Monday evening, according to CNN.

While some school districts opted Tuesday to ignore the department's statement, others reportedly would not allow students without masks to enter school premises.

GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik, who represents an upstate New York district, made clear to constituents her plan to hold the state's education department accountable for mask-less students being denied entry to their schools.

“Any parent or student that is told they cannot attend school in the North Country if they do not wear a mask due to the illegal mandate, please contact my office," she said. "As a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, I will hold the New York State Department of Education accountable."

Stefanik said the department's most-court-ruling is "causing unnecessary confusion," and that the governor and her "Far-Left Department of Education are ... shamefully disregarding the law."

In New York City, Democrat Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday morning,  "We're going to continue our mandates in schools."