January 25, 2022
Dear Catholic Academy and Parish School Families,
As you may be aware, a New York State Supreme Court Judge in Nassau County ruled last night that the statewide mandate ordering students and staff to wear masks in schools is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. However, the New York Supreme Court in Albany County has determined the mandate is constitutional and legal.
Shortly after the ruling was issued, the New York State Department of Education (SED) notified all school districts throughout the state that the Department of Health has appealed the decision, and a stay has been issued that restores the mask rule. Therefore, SED dispatched the following statement:
The State Education Department understands that Nassau County Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of Health exceeded its authority in enacting the mask regulation, 10 NYCRR 2.60, in Demetriou et al. v. New York State Dep’t of Health et al. This regulation is the subject of conflicting decisions, insofar as Albany County Supreme Court recently upheld the regulation in Massapequa UFSD et al. v. Hochul, et al.
It will now be left to the appellate courts of the State to resolve the conflict between the two Supreme Courts. Because an appellate court has Stayed the Nassau Supreme Court Order that Order cannot take effect at this time. Therefore, all schools must comply with the mask mandate as issued by the State. Naturally, if the Governor rescinds the mask mandate, there would be no need to await the Court decisions. It is our fervent hope for the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn that the mask mandate will be eliminated which would allow our schools to make mask wearing optional based upon local circumstances. If the appellate courts strike down the mask mandate, our schools and academies will IMMEDIATELY be able to make masks optional. However, until the appellate courts render a final decision, our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools must follow the State mask mandate.
We will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep you informed.
We thank you for your continued patience and understanding!
Rev. Msgr. David L. Cassato
Vicar for Catholic Schools
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services
Deputy Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services