Dear Dimmick Families,
Late on Friday, February 4, 2022, Judge Grischow, Circuit Court Judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit in Sangamon County issued two separate rulings in Austin, et al., v. Board of Education of Community Unit School District #300, et al and other enjoined lawsuits. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include roughly 700 students and a dozen school personnel across Illinois. Defendants include 146+ school districts, IDPH, ISBE, and Governor Pritzker. Dimmick C.C.S.D. #175 was not named as a defendant in the litigation.
In the first ruling, Judge Grischow denied class certification in the lawsuit. The denial of class certification limits the impact of the involved suit to only those individuals listed as plaintiffs or defendants in the lawsuit.
In the second ruling, Judge Grishow issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to the plaintiffs in lawsuit which prohibits the 146+ school districts identified in the lawsuit from mandating: facial coverings, exclusion of close contacts, weekly testing of unvaccinated staff.
As indicated, Dimmick CCSD #175 is not a listed defendant in the litigation, and the Seventh Judicial Circuit does not have jurisdictional direction over LaSalle County, however, the District will continue to monitor the impact of TRO. The Illinois Attorney General has filed a request for appeal with the Illinois Appellate Court, and is expected to file a request to the Circuit Court requesting to postpone the enforcement of the TRO until the Appellate Court rules on appeal.
Dimmick’s current COVID protocols will remain in place at this time. This includes students and staff wearing face coverings on all buses and inside the building except when eating, observing appropriate social distancing, exclusion of positive cases of COVID, and weekly testing of unvaccinated employees.
The District expects to receive legal clarity from the Appellate Court level within the next few weeks. The District will address COVID mitigation plans when this information is received and interpreted and we have had the opportunity to consult with our attorney, the Dimmick Elementary Teachers’ Association, our insurance agent and the Board of Education. I know everyone is eager to return to normal as soon as possible; however, it is important that we do so in a manner that ensures the safety of all students and staff and doesn’t expose the District to unnecessary legal liability.
Thank you for your continued support!
Mr. Ryan Linnig