As reported in The Epoch Times, the Oklahoma legislature recently passed a bill banning mask mandates in schools. In Germany, mask mandates in schools have also been under the microscope, with an extraordinary judgment given in April highlighting the issue.
On April 8, the Weimar District Court banned two schools in that district from enforcing mask mandates, social distancing requirements, and rapid COVID-19 testing on their students. The court also ordered the schools to no longer conduct distance learning.
The decision followed legal action by the mother of two students, aged 8 and 14, respectively, at one of the schools, who argued that such measures were causing physical, psychological, and pedagogical harm to her children, as well as constituting an infringement of her children and parental rights under German and international law.
The judge, Christian Dettmar, upheld this argument (pdf), noting that mask mandates and social distancing requirements for children weren’t only causing the harm mentioned above, but were in direct violation of Articles 2 and 6 of the German Constitution, which guarantee the rights to freedom of individual development, education, and parental assistance.
Accordingly, the judge held that the anti-COVID measures deployed weren’t proportional to the threat posed. This was in accordance with proportionality principles enshrined in Articles 20 and 28 of the German Constitution.
The court also referred to an October 2020 WHO Bulletin which featured a study by renowned medical science expert John Ioannidis, who found the death rate for coronavirus to be 0.23 percent, the equivalent of a moderate influenza epidemic.
In examining expert medical; scientific, including biological; and psychological evidence, the judge found the use of masks and social distancing had no effect whatsoever on reducing infection, and cast serious doubt on the ability of asymptomatic persons—particularly children—to spread the virus. This was the first time evidence was presented to a German court regarding the scientific reasonableness and necessity of the prescribed anti-virus measures.
Dettmar found that the anti-virus measures posed a danger to the mental, physical, or psychological well-being of the children to such an extent that significant harm could be foreseen with a high degree of certainty. He wrote:
“The children are not only endangered in their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being by the obligation to wear face masks during school hours and to keep their distance from each other and from other persons, but, in addition, they are already being harmed. At the same time, this violates numerous rights of the children and their parents under the law, the constitution, and international conventions.
“This applies in particular to the right to free development of the personality and to physical integrity from Article 2 of the (German Constitution) as well as to the right from Article 6 of the (Constitution) to upbringing and care by the parents (also with regard to measures for preventive health care and ‘objects’ to be carried by children).”
The judge agreed with the experts’ assessment that masks weren’t useful for viral protection, that PCR tests couldn’t detect a disease-causing infection with necessary certainty, and that asymptomatic transmission played no detectable role epidemiologically with respect to coronavirus.
On the contrary, masks would have a negative impact on children’s health due to handling-related contamination. Testing in school classes would be unnecessary, harmful, and extremely problematic in terms of data protection.
In conclusion, he stated, “100,000 elementary school students would have to put up with all the side effects of wearing masks for a week in order to prevent just one infection per week. To call this result merely disproportionate would be a wholly inadequate description. Rather, it shows that the state legislature regulating this area has fallen into a factual disconnect that has reached historic proportions.”
Following this sensational decision, Dettmar had his house, office, and car searched by police, and mobile phone confiscated.
The Weimar Administrative Court—a separate court with no jurisdiction over the District Court—issued a statement in response to the ruling, describing Dettmar’s decision as unlawful—without giving reasons—and reiterated the importance of the mask mandate.
Do the actions of the police, court, and authorities suggest that the edifice of virus restrictions could be exposed as lacking proper epidemiological foundations?
Rocco Loiacono is a senior lecturer at Curtin University Law School in Perth, Australia, and is a translator from Italian to English. His work on translation, linguistics, and law has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals. This article was compiled in collaboration with Eva Wiesmann.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.