Dear Belleville Area Families and Staff,
Many of you are likely aware that there have been legal challenges to the Governor and IDPH’s ability to enforce executive orders related to the pandemic. On Friday evening, Judge Grischow of Sangamon County ruled on a lawsuit filed by more than 700 parents across the state that challenged state-mandated COVID-19 mitigations, which include masks, vaccines, and quarantines.
At this time, we are in the process of reviewing the judge’s decision and will communicate with you as soon as possible whether this ruling impacts our students and staff members. The judge initially ruled that the decision only pertained to students, staff, and districts named in the lawsuit, which does not apply to any of the Belleville area schools. However, the ruling also came with strong language regarding the Governor’s executive authority including rules through IPDH and ISBE. The decision has also been set up for an appeal at the Appellate level, per the Governor’s direction to the Attorney General. This is expected to be filed on Monday, February 7th, and procedurally would not be decided until February 17th. There was also a request yesterday for a ‘stay’ in the order, meaning the new rules will not go into effect until after the appeal. So what may be the rule of law today could change very soon and it is pertinent to wait for a final decision.
Until there is definitive guidance on the mandates, we ask for your patience and thank you in advance for following our current policies and procedures. Also rest assured that no matter the outcome of this ruling, we will continue to keep our community’s safety, and the best learning environment possible, as our priorities.
Thank you for your continued support of our students, teachers, and staff.
Belleville Area Superintendents
Dr. Brian Mentzer Mr. Matt Stines Dr. David Deets
Belleville 201 Grant 110 Harmony-Emge 175
Dr. Ryan Boike Dr. Jeff Daugherty Dr. Brad Landgraf
Belleville 118 BASSC Millstadt 160
Dr. Julie Brown Mr. Scott Harres Mr. Kelly Bohnenstiehl
Pontiac 105 Wolf Branch 113 Signal Hill 181
Dr. Beth Horner Mr. Mark Huering Mr. R. Dane Gale
High Mount 116 Whiteside 115 Belle Valley 119