Judge William Mahon of the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas ordered the ouster of all 5 Republicans again from the West Chester Local State Board of education on Tuesday in a disagreement over the district’s obligatory mask policy.
“In a stunning move, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Judge William Mahon ordered the removal of all five Democrats on the West Chester Area School Board on Tuesday in a dispute over the district’s mandatory mask policy. Mahon wrote his decision was a “procedural result” of the school district attorneys’ failure to comply with a March 15 court order instructing them to respond to a removal petition filed by upset mother Beth Ann Rosica, who has children attending school in the district,” said report.
Mahon noted that his judgment was a “procedural outcome” of the school district attorneys’ inability to reply to a removal petition filed by upset mom Beth Ann Rosica, who seems to have children in the district. As a result, West Chester Local Board Chairman Sue Tiernan, as well as members of the board Joyce Chester, Kate Shaw, Daryl Durnell, and Karen Herman, who were all proponents of the increasingly controversial mask regulations, have lost their positions.
UPDATE 4/4/2022: The judge has now reinstated the members, per report:
Chester County Common Pleas Court Judge William P. Mahon vacated his order removing five West Chester Area School Board members after a hearing before a packed courtroom at the Chester County Justice Center on Friday.
Mahon on Tuesday had removed the quintet of school board members after he said that attorneys for the district had not answered a petition filed by a West Chester resident seeking their removal over what she said was an improper mandate for students to wear masks in schools, two months after the state Supreme Court had rendered a decision on a separate matter in December that mask mandates were unconstitutional.
Mahon made it clear on Friday that his earlier ruling was based on procedure rather than masks, even though the suit to have them removed will be allowed to move forward — even though its chances of success are murky. Mahon said his order dealt only with his belief that the district had failed to meet a deadline he had set for a formal response.
“I understand the gravity of this situation,” Mahon told the audience of over 200 at the Justice Center. “The removal of the school board members has crippled this school district. To remove the school board members will create extreme difficulty for the operation of the school district.”