Stop masks in schools

by Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown

Stop masks in schools

by Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown
Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown
Case Owner
Lawyers helping the public and business understand what is law and what is just guidance. We also provide a whistleblowing platform for teachers, NHS and all sectors. We ain't just whistling.
on 10th March 2021
pledged of £60,000 stretch target from 1935 pledges
Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown
Case Owner
Lawyers helping the public and business understand what is law and what is just guidance. We also provide a whistleblowing platform for teachers, NHS and all sectors. We ain't just whistling.

Latest: July 13, 2021

End of case, thank you and where next.

Thank you for support for the child in this case and all others affected by the mask wearing.

The issue of mask wearing, whether by legal obligation (it is established there is none for children), gui…

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Head teachers and local authorities have been caught up in the hysteria of fear promoted around coronavirus and many have lost all sense of proportion. Wearing masks in classrooms is bad for education and bad for the health of our children. If masks are justified, schools must be able to prove it. We are certain that they cannot.

The parent bringing this case is doing so for their child and yours.   

Who is fighting this case

This case is being fought by at Laworfiction and other leading lawyers involved in legal challenges to the government's response to Covid-19. We are opposed not only to the enforced wearing of masks by children but all measures harming our children, the nation, the NHS and the economy which are irrational or not justified by evidence.

The claimant is child at school represented by their parent. The defendant, to be named as soon as proceedings are issued, is the child’s school which is adopting a face-covering policy following government guidance (which they are not legally obliged to do) while failing properly to consider the impact on the children and staff (which they are obliged to do). . 

What we are asking for

We want the school to stop promoting wearing of masks in schools.

We want the school to stop putting measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 ahead of the health and education of children.

The case will effectively be a test case for all schools in the UK. This will be the first time that the Courts will have been required to consider whether the evidence in support of requiring masks to be worn outweighs the harms.

There is no doubt in law that these policies interfere with fundamental human rights and that any interference with those rights must be necessary and proportionate. That means they must be justified by real evidence, not the fear mongering of media headlines or imagined doomsday predictions. The Government has repeatedly been challenged to provide that evidence but has failed to do so.

So far, however, by passing decisions down to local level and offering 'guidance', as opposed to issuing express directions, the Government has avoided scrutiny and being forced to provide that evidence.

This case can stop enforced wearing of masks in our schools. It can expose the lack of evidence as to the benefit of mask wearing in schools and, most scandalously, for the failure - of schools, local authorities, the Government and SAGE - to consider or assess the consequent harms done to health and education of our children. 

The Government has controlled schools and businesses through guidance, fear and largely empty threats that failing to follow the guidance would be a breach of the Health and Safety as Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. In truth, it is precisely by failing to assess harms of 'covid secure' policies in schools and premises that those same laws have been breached, failing us and our children.

Winning this case can also have massive implications for adults and in all sectors of society. It is time to examine evidence everywhere.

 Time is critical

To stop masks in schools become the norm, we need to act now, to take a clear and present opportunity for the Courts to demand evidence, not Government press releases.

We have set an initial target of £10,000 just to get going quickly but if, as we expect, this case goes to full trial, given the significance of this case the legal costs could reach into six figures. By that stage, however, with your support we will hope to have achieved momentum and attract wide public support. Your donation can help show the public has had enough.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your financial support. Thank you for sharing this appeal as widely as possible to encourage others to contribute. Thank you on behalf of all our children.

Any excess funds will be used to fund further important cases, with masks as priority until their promotion is stopped, to stop the harms arising from the Government's response to coronavirus. 

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Update 6

Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown

July 13, 2021

End of case, thank you and where next.

Thank you for support for the child in this case and all others affected by the mask wearing.

The issue of mask wearing, whether by legal obligation (it is established there is none for children), guidance, coercion or encouragement has not gone away. Having considered the outcome in this case, a decision has been made not to appeal but to pursue other legal avenues.  As this need not involve the particular child in this case, the decision has been made to close this particular fund.

The lawyers involved are continuing, however, to pursue those other avenues. It remains unsatisfactory that it appears still that no suitable and sufficient risk assessment of mask wearing schools has been conducted by the government or any relevant authority. The Health and Safety Executive seeks to shift responsibility to government and its guidance, the schools and local authorities do likewise and the government's position is 'it is just guidance and we leave decisions to local authorities and schools' and we base our guidance on what SAGE tells us. It is a very unhappy merry-go-round where it is extremely difficult in the Courts to successfully to challenge any decisions of government, local authorities or the HSE. However, it is possible that this is a challenge that now must be made, with the hope that the Courts will recognise that it is necessary to step in to protect children against a government that determines Covid-19 policies without proper regard to their safety. 

Thank you again for your support.  

Update 5

Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown

May 7, 2021

Court decision and analysis

It is good news that it seems masks will no longer be encouraged in classrooms from 17 May. Thank you for your help in this which is in part due to pressure caused by this case, the laworfiction template letters that helped give rise to it and the consequent publicity highlighting the harms we and millions of others believe they are causing to our children. 

Analysis of the case may reveal some gaps in the law as we explain below. 

The simplest headline is the judge decided the injunction sought, to protect this 12 year old girl was not necessary to prevent harm to her; she had taken her mask off and the school was not going to require her to put it on. She was 'treated as being exempt' from school rules that she wear a mask, even though she did not have any exemption status under government guidance or the school policy. 

The decision does not make any findings in respect of the school's risk assessment. Neither did the judge express any view as to the experts' evidence except to note it appeared to be "inconsistent with the Government’s advisers’ views as reflected in the Guidance issued by the Government." That is absolutely correct but it raised these questions: Who is advising regarding the potential harms of mask wearing? What are their views? Are those views reflected in the Guidance?  

We know from the school's evidence in this case that it, like most others, relied on the government Guidance in respect of its risk assessment. But we also know, from government responses elsewhere, that the government admits to making no assessment of the harms from masks other than to survey of the views of 'stakeholders' such as teachers unions. So who is assessing the risks?

The decision suggests this may be a matter which needs a response from Government within a Judicial Review process. That is a process in which the Court can be asked to examine the reasonableness of the decision to issue or promote the Guidance. However, the well known limitation of Judicial Review (in rough terms) is that the Court will not examine in any detail the evidence in support of that decision, provided there is some evidence to indicate the decision was not wholly unreasonable.

It is complicated but this appears to lead to the following conclusions: 

1. An individual child (like AB) who takes her mask off is considered not to need protection;

2. A individual child who gives in to pressure to follow Guidance to wear a mask, is considered not need protection because the Court says 'pressure and Guidance is not a requirement, just take the mask off';

3. A child who wants to challenge the pressure to wear a mask but does not wear one herself must do so via Judicial Review, but where the factual assessment on evidence - what harm do they cause harm and is that justified by benefits achieved - will not be made because of the limitations of the Judicial Review process.     

If the above is correct, it would seem to leave a government free, via Guidance and campaigns, to encourage and pressure children to wear masks without anyone having taken responsibility for conducting the assessment of benefits and harms which health and safety laws require. 

Can the Courts, our Courts, accept that as a state of the nation? Or is this one of the many moments in history where the Courts step in and develop common law - the law as it emerges from cases as opposed to legislation - to plug the gap and to protect the public. 

The next step, therefore, is to consider whether to appeal the decision to restrict the Court's consideration to this particular child and/or whether to progress the case via the Judicial Review. That step will need to be taken within weeks. 

Meanwhile and more simply, everyone can take note from this decision this simple point: the school's defence to its policy was it would not enforce its policy; no child can be required to wear a mask in school.

The court decision is available here.

Update 4

Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown

May 5, 2021

Court Decision

“no-one should be excluded from education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering”

This was what the School told the Court and was relied on by the Court in its decision that at this stage an injunction is not necessary to protect Child AB.

AB, aged 12, had taken the brave step to not to wear a mask at school, despite staff and peer pressure to wear one.

Child AB had given evidence that “Like one of my friends said to me ‘I feel as those wearing it is harming me, but I feel like we have to because I don’t want to get told off.’ Those were the words she was using.” 

She also reported “Teachers take it in turns, some of them seeming to enjoy it, wondering corridors and checking through the windows in classes to make sure everyone’s wearing masks. Three bad-behaviour points and you get excluded. It’s not done quietly but in front of everyone.”

At this stage the Court was not required to decide exactly what was happening in the school but it became important that the school assured the Court that Child AB would not be required to wear a mask. In giving this assurance, the school relied on its policy – derived from the government guidance – that it would not require any child to wear a mask, even if (like Child AB) they do not have a medical exemption.

The Court’s decision emphasises that no child in any school can be forced to wear a mask. No medical exemption is required.

The Court also noted that the school had not provided enough evidence to find it had conducted a full risk assessment or that it was sufficient. Neither the government nor the school has assessed the risk of physical or psychological harms from wearing masks throughout almost all the school day (in classrooms, in corridors and on public transport) and the Court acknowledged the detailed evidence of those harms by Chartered Health and Safety Practitioner, Ms Simone Plaut and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Zenobia Storah. These reports are available here:

H&S Report re Child AB v Tapton School Academy Trust

Psychology Report re Child AB v Tapton School Academy Trust

Update 3

Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown

April 30, 2021

Evidence revealed in Court

At the High Court hearing today, 30 April 2021, it was revealed to the Court that neither the Tapton School Academy Trust (which runs 4 secondary schools) nor the government had conducted any assessment of the risk of harms from requiring children to wear masks in schools.

At the same time the Court received unchallenged evidence that wearing masks could result in causing pulmonary fibrosis, being "among the worst diseases that can be suffered or witnessed. It kills exceedingly slowly, by ever-thickening matrix formation, a kind of scar tissue, obstructing the alveoli and reducing their air exchange. The illness worsens over time, and suffocates the victim very gradually. Nothing is available to the sufferer from conventional medicine."     

Also unchallenged was evidence of psychological harm suffered by children because of the pressure upon them to wear masks and the need to conform to the authority of teachers and their peers.

Against this background, the child (whose name and school remain subject to a Court anonymity order) asked the Court for an order stopping the school encouraging mask-wearing by children.

Roger Ter Haar QC (Sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court) has reserved his judgment but indicated he expects to provide his decision in writing by next Wednesday 05 May 2021.

The evidence is here, a must read for all parents: 

H&S Report re Child AB v Tapton School Academy Trust

Psychology Report re Child AB v Tapton School Academy Trust

Update 2

Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown

April 23, 2021

Case Issued and Court Hearing Date Given

Court proceedings were issued today, 23 April 2021, on behalf of a child claiming against the Tapton School Academy Trust. 

The Trust runs four secondary schools in the Sheffield area. The identity of the child and family and of the particular school will remain anonymous. The Court has listed the matter for hearing next Friday 30 April, time to be confirmed.

We have in previous updates posted the distressing experts reports which are now before the Court. 

There are various other documents and evidence but here you can read: The Statement of Case.

We may remain at the start of this legal case. More funding support is still very much needed.

Please share the case widely and continue to push through social media, emails and help us get to six figures.  We must expect to need it but, if we shouldn't, there will be other battles to fight.    

Update 1

Laworfiction - lawyers against lockdown

April 9, 2021

Experts give damning opinion of masks

Two expert reports have been served to the school's solicitors today (09 April 2021). 

The opinions given are clear: requiring children to wear face coverings in schools is causing an immediate and ongoing risk of mental and physical harm to our children. Those harms may be of the most serious kind.

They make for shocking and upsetting reading. They are available here: 

Psychology Report re Child A (Defendant name redacted)

H&S Report re Child A (Defendant name redacted)

The school has been given a short time to respond but, assuming it remains determined to follow current government guidance, proceedings will be issued.

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