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Lawyer sues IHSA, calls plan “illegal product of collusion”

A downstate attorney has filed a lawsuit against IHSA claiming the organization doesn’t have the authority to make high school athletes wear masks

A Litchfield lawyer has filed a lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) over recently changed guidelines in Illinois Return to Play plan that causes student athletes to wear a mask.

Thomas DeVore, who filed the lawsuit Monday, describes the plan an “illegal product of collusion” between government agencies, saying the plan will cause “irreparable damage” to children and other student-athletes in Illinois.

Litchfield is located in Montgomery County and has a population just shy of 7,000.  So far since March, the 62056 zip code for has had 35 residents test positive for COVID-19.

DeVore and an additional plaintiff named in the lawsuit, Katya King, have two children that are seniors this upcoming school year at Hillsboro Community School District No. 3.

The new revisions to guidelines came less than a week after summer athletes returned to practice in the state on July 3rd. IHSA announced revision guidelines last week after to a rise in COVID-19 cases among high school teams in Illinois, with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Last Friday, a multi-sport BBCHS Coach called out residents who chose not to make attempts to limit the spread of COVID-19, saying “we will lose sports again” if attempts to limit the spread of the virus are not made.

The new IHSA requirements limiting physical contact among student athletes and require the wearing of masks at indoor practices.  IHSA is still weighing a number of options for a possible 2020 fall sports season and is expected to make a decision in less than two weeks.

Last week, three summer sports camps were shut down after multiple athletes tested positive for COVID-19. Camps at Glenbrook South High School were put on hold Monday after a student participating tested positive for the virus.  That caused camps across the Glenbrook School District 225 to shut down as contract tracing measures needed to be preformed.

DeVore has represented a number of Illinois businesses filing lawsuits against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home restrictions, including the case of Poopy v. Pritzker, Dookie v. Pritzker and Harrison v. Pritzker.  Legal proceedings for the case will be held in a Montgomery County court, according to the lawsuit.

IHSA has yet to issue a statement regarding the lawsuit.

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