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July 18, 2024

29,000 educators sign on to file motion to intervene in Sangamon County lawsuit –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 12, 2021


Press Release:

29,000 educators sign on to file motion to intervene in Sangamon County lawsuit in effort to protect health and safety of students and employees

SPRINGFIELD – Today, the unions representing teachers and support staff in 52 school districts across Illinois will file a motion to intervene in a Sangamon County lawsuit in an effort to protect the safety of the workplaces and the health and lives of students and employees by keeping the governor’s student mask mandate in place.

In October, attorney Tom DeVore filed a lawsuit against 145 school districts across the state on behalf of parents and their children at a price of $5,000 per district, plus filing fees. Those cases have all been consolidated into one in Sangamon County in front of Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow.

The suit asks that the students not be required to wear a mask or be excluded from campus, and that students not be excluded from campus if they were “close contacts” with a COVID positive person, without the local health department weighing in on each individual case.

The court filings today were made on behalf of 75 IEA-affiliated locals, which represent more than 29,000 members of the Illinois Education Association who serve more than 214,000 students. Each of those locals made the independent decision to intervene in the lawsuit.

“Almost all of our members are vaccinated or complying with the vaccinate-or-test order. We are all wearing masks. We want students to wear their masks and stay home if they were close contacts of someone with COVID. We believe in keeping staff, students, all of the families of our staff and students and all of our communities safe,” said Andrew Frey, president of the Triad Education Association. “Things were looking good for a while, but here we are again. This is a worldwide pandemic. We are not immune in Illinois just because we want to turn our heads. So, we won’t. And, we’ll work to keep our schools safe.”

A status hearing is set in the case for next week. Should the judge grant the IEA locals’ motion, they would be able to take part in that hearing and in court proceedings going forward.

“We have been saying all along that it is our goal to keep students and staff in buildings as long as it is safe,” said Kathi Griffin, president of the IEA. “Our locals are respectfully asking the court to respect the educators’ wishes who have asked their local to intervene on their behalf, to ensure that we can continue in-person instruction in a safe and healthy environment. We believe the governor has worked hard to provide a safe educational environment for students and that districts have been following his executive orders because they are guided by science and are focused on keeping our students and staff safe. That’s the best we can ask under these circumstances.”

As of Dec. 9, nearly 1.9 million Illinoisans have tested positive for COVID-19, of which nearly 400,000 are under the age of 20. There have been 30,000 confirmed or probable COVID deaths. At least four Illinois public school employees died of COVID during the 2019-20 school year, at least eight in the 2020-21 school and at least one this school year. Currently, there are 163 active “youth outbreaks” in the state. Between June and August of this year, the Delta variant resulted in a five-fold increase of child hospitalizations, and between July 3 and Oct. 30, the case rate for those under age 20 increase from 17 per 100,000 to 142 per 100,000.

As of Dec. 9, all 102 counties in Illinois are coded red for high transmission on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Community Transmission Map – the most critical rating.


At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide. 



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  • Elizabeth Gruber
    Posted at 06:32h, 13 December Reply

    Without an autopsy we will never know who actually died of COVID. Probably very few. Masks are pretty useless. I only wear when sanding sheetrock.

  • John Manspeaker
    Posted at 07:14h, 13 December Reply

    What is the point of disclosing the cost of the Plaintiff’s suit? No mention of the IEA’s attorney’s fees… or the cost to a student’s well being when they are arbitrarily dismissed from classes and school activities because of “close contact”, whether they are covid test positive or not.

  • jamie in Illinois
    Posted at 08:25h, 13 December Reply

    Not very educated are they….would someone please take a big puff off a cigarette and quickly put their mask on and then exhale. The smoke goes right thru them. And you can see smoke, you can’t see a virus. I can just see in my minds eye, people lining up around the block to take the mark of the beast, as without it one day, they will not be able to buy or sale. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

  • Cal Scigalski
    Posted at 12:06h, 13 December Reply

    Educators are ineducable. They only pretend to know things.

  • Tony
    Posted at 23:09h, 13 December Reply

    This doesn’t end till the people decide to end it. Get loud, get organized and get their jobs. Because they won’t move until they can feel the repercussions of their decisions.

    No reason we can’t be safe AND free. But if this were about being safe they’d be pushing the dozen or so treatments and prophelaxtics that exist…not just masks and vaxxes.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 07:07h, 14 December Reply

    According to an article dated November 2021 and published in the EPOCH TIMES, there is little evidence to support the use of Cloth Masks to limit the spread of the CCP Virus.
    In addition, Martin Kulldorff, Senior Scientific Director Brownstone Institute states ” The truth is that there has been only two randomized trails of masks for COVID. ” Those tests were found to be poorly designed and offered scant evidence in support of mask usage.
    This article also quotes Dr. Jonathan Darrow, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. There in, he states, ” based on the evidence currently available, masks are mostly a distraction from the important work of promoting pubic health”.
    This calls into question, the real data used to argue the use of masks in a school environment for protection against the China Virus.
    The harm done to students is clearly, far greater than the alleged benefit of a cloth mask in a school environment..
    What’s next? Masks to protect us against the common cold and the flu? This mask issue has become a perverted political game: all at the expense of young students…..
    Teachers have clearly fallen in line with their union’s interests and not with those students they are supposed to be interested in educating. Suddenly they’re all experts in medicine and not at educating children. However, they do know, it’s easier to stay at home and collect a pay check..

  • homer
    Posted at 18:29h, 14 December Reply

    Mayo Clinic researchers recently published a study that shows the proper use of masks reduces the spread of respiratory droplets. The findings strongly support the protective value and effectiveness of widespread mask use and maintaining physical distance in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
    One of the top research hospitals in america

    • John Kraft
      Posted at 18:32h, 14 December Reply

      got a link?

  • Aaron
    Posted at 19:30h, 22 January Reply

    The issue with this study is that they used “:monodisperse polystyrene latex beads in place of infectious respiratory secretions” but as far as I’m aware these particles measure at approximately 0.75 µm.

    This is not an apples to apples comparison because SARS-CoV-2 virus particles measure at about 0.06µm – 0.1µm so the virus that causes COVID is at least 7 times smaller than the particles used in the Mayo Clinic study…

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