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Judge denies request to strike down school mask requirement

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut judge has rejected an emergency request to strike down the state requirement that children wear masks in schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, saying there is little evidence backing some parents’ claims that mask-wearing can be harmful.

Judge Thomas Moukawsher in Hartford issued the ruling Monday in a lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Freedom Alliance and several parents and children. He said the case will proceed under normal procedures and he is considering the state’s request to dismiss the case.

An epidemiologist and psychiatrist testified for the plaintiffs at a hearing Friday. But Moukawsher said their testimony did not prove the lawsuit’s claims.

“There is no emergency danger to children from wearing masks in schools,” the judge wrote in his decision. “Indeed, there is very little evidence of harm at all and a wide ranging medical consensus that it is safe.”

Doug Dubitsky, a lawyer for the plaintiffs and a Republican state representative from Chaplin, argues that studies show wearing masks is not effective in preventing transmission of diseases and can cause children to develop a variety of conditions including nasal infections, tooth infections, panic attacks, breathing problems and acne.

Dubitsky said many parents have pulled their children out of school because of mask-related problems.

The state argues it is following federal guidelines and studies show masks are important in helping prevent the virus from traveling into the air and spreading from one person to another.

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