D181 family reportedly joins mask lawsuit

A District 181 family reportedly has agreed to join a lawsuit filed by attorney Tom Devore regarding the state’s mask mandate and other COVID-19 protocols.

Kristen Engle of the Hinsdale-Burr Ridge Chapter of Awake Illinois posted the news Oct. 9 on the D181 community page on Facebook.

The group also raised $5,300 in 24 hours to put toward the family’s legal expenses, she wrote in a post.

Engle invited families from Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 and Hinsdale High School District 86 to get involved just a day earlier.

“We can join Tom Devore’s lawsuit against Gov. (JB) Pritzker, Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education, in regard to the masking policies of local school districts as well as matters incidental thereto,” she wrote on Facebook.

The nonprofit Awake Illinois identifies itself online as a pro-human, nonpartisan group of proud Americans who are respectful of debate. The website lists 28 chapters in Illinois, including the one in Hinsdale/Burr Ridge.

Devore, an attorney from downstate Greenville, has taken school districts to court in Adams, Clinton, Macoupin, Montgomery and Sangamon counties regarding the mask mandate for all staff and students in Illinois schools and quarantine procedures. Last year he filed several lawsuits against Pritzker for his COVID-19 mitigations. The most notable of which freed state Sen. Darren Bailey, a Republican from Xenia, from the governor’s stay-at-home order.

Devore is also running for a seat on the state’s Fourth District Appellate Court and Bailey hopes to unseat Pritzker in next year’s gubernatorial race.

Neither he nor Engle responded to requests from comment before presstime Wednesday.

“We may not be as vocal as the opposition, but we are strong and unrelenting advocates for our children’s medical autonomy,” Engle wrote on Facebook.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean