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VERIFY: No, your school board cannot be held liable over mask policy

Some parents are wondering if school administrators can be held liable if students get sick?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the Union County School Board just decided to keep masks optional for students, some parents are wondering if school administrators can be held liable if students get sick? 

This is not just about the Union County School Board but other school boards as well who kept masks optional.

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Attorney Gary Mauney tells us it's a question that's on a lot of parents' minds these days. 

"I have gotten so many calls from parents wanting to know when we take legal action against a school board," Mauney said. 

So, can parents file a lawsuit over this? 

"Judges and courts are very hesitant to weigh into political questions that ought to be resolved by the people," Mauney said. 

Mauney said the thought behind this is because people vote school board members in and out of office.

"Politicians in our country get to make good choices and bad choices and then if people agree with them or not the answer is at the ballot box and typically not the courthouse," Mauney said. 

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According to the North Carolina School Board Association, all school boards in North Carolina have governmental immunity to negligence claims, except if a district waives its immunity by purchasing insurance. 

"A lawyer like me would expect to lose and not take a case that involves a strictly political question like has the school board made a bad policy choice," Mauney said.  

Mauney said it is rare that a case against a school board focused on a specific policy would hold up in court because according to him those issues are to be resolved at the ballot box and not in the courtroom. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

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