Mississippi parents file lawsuit after their third-grade daughter was forced to REMOVE her ‘Jesus Loves Me’ face mask during class because school claimed coverings with religious expressions were BANNED
- Lydia Booth was allegedly ordered to take off her ‘Jesus Loves Me’ face mask at Simpson Central High School on October 13
- Her parents says she had worn the mask on multiple occasions without incident
- They further say other students wore masks emblazoned with sports team logos and the words ‘Black Lives Matter’
- Two days after the incident, the school updated its face mask policy, banning any masks that featured political or religious statements or symbols
- Booth’s parents say the school applied that policy retroactively, and that they have violated their daughter’s First Amendment Rights
A Mississippi couple have filed a lawsuit against their third-grade daughter’s school district after she was forced to remove a ‘Jesus Loves Me’ face mask during a computer class.
The incident occurred at Simpson Central School on October 13, when principal Antoinette Woodall allegedly demanded nine-year-old Lydia Booth take off the Christian-themed covering because it was a violation of the school’s policy.
According to the lawsuit, filed Monday in US District Court, an assistant teacher then gave Lydia a plain face mask to use as a substitute.
Lydia’s parents, Matthew and Jennifer Booth, are seeking a jury trial and demanding ‘nominal damages’, saying the incident greatly upset their little girl.
A Mississippi couple have filed a lawsuit against their third-grade daughter’s school district after she was forced to remove a ‘Jesus Loves Me’ face mask during a computer class. The student, Lydia Booth, is pictured
The suits says the Booth parents were unable to find any policy in school handbooks that stated such religious expression was prohibited.
But two days after the incident, the school’s superintendent allegedly updated its face mask policy, which stated: ‘Masks cannot display political, religious, sexual or any inappropriate symbols, gestures or statements that may be offensive, disruptive or deemed distractive to the school environment.’
The school claimed the policy was originally included in its ‘restart plan’, which was unable to be found online.
The lawsuit further claims that Lydia had worn the face mask on multiple occasions prior to October 13, and that no students had become visibly upset or distracted by its message.
Additionally, the suit claims other students had been wearing face masks emblazoned with sports team logos and the words ‘Black Lives Matter’.
The suit has been filed on behalf of Matthew and Jennifer Booth by The Alliance Defending Freedom who say the school district’s action is a violation of Lydia’s constitutional rights.
The incident occurred at Simpson Central School on October 13
‘Public schools have a duty to respect the free expression of students that the First Amendment guarantees to them,’ ADF Legal Counsel Michael Ross told WLBT.
‘Lydia told her parents she wants to be a missionary and that’s why she wants to wear this mask. It made her really sad when she was forced to remove this mask because the message means something to her and it’s her choice to wear it’, senior ADF Counsel Tyson Langhofer additionally told WBRC.
The school says they do not comment on pending litigation.
Two days after the incident, the school’s superintendent allegedly updated its face mask policy