Honor Society student sues over being disciplined for rejecting mask mandate

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

A National Honor Society student in Washtenaw County who refuses to wear a mask in school is suing her district, board and superintendent, alleging she and others were segregated and disciplined for refusing to follow a mask mandate.

Morrah Stewart, a 17-year-old Manchester High School student, alleges she and other students opted not to wear a mask in school — despite a district mask rule and a countywide mask mandate — and was sent to the school library and segregated from other students.

The lawsuit — filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit by the teen's father, James Stewart, on her behalf — alleges the students were told by a school officer their names would be run "in a computer and once there would be there forever." It also says a teacher walked out of class when one of them refused to wear a mask.

The civil lawsuit challenges the emergency order of the Washtenaw County Health Department, arguing it curbs the teen's civil right and liberties.

“The due process clause of the Constitution does not permit a state to infringe on the fundamental rights of parent to make child rearing decisions, including arbitrarily forcing children to wear masks to school,” the lawsuit argues. 

It seeks damages and alleges the teen has suffered physical and emotional harm, physical pain and suffering, fear and emotional distress.

The Manchester Community School District is in southwestern Washtenaw County, about 20 miles southwest of Ann Arbor

Bradley J. Bezeau, school superintendent, did not respond to a request for comment.

jchambers@detroitnews.com