Emails: Head of NC teachers group threatened Cooper, Cohen with injunction over masks in schools

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The head of a statewide association of teachers sent emails to North Carolina leaders threatening to seek an injunction if they failed to lift the mask mandate in schools.

The emails were sent by Amy Marshall, the executive director, president and founder of the Carolina Teachers Alliance, to Gov. Roy Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, the Department of Health and Human Services secretary.

CBS 17 obtained them through an open records request for all emails related to a mask mandate sent to or from Cooper and Cohen from mid-July through mid-August.

Marshall did not respond to a message left by CBS 17 seeking comment.

The emails were dated June 29 and July 20, with Marshall saying in the first one that the alliance gathered signatures from more than 3,200 people who were not in favor of the mask mandate.

Both emails urged Cooper and Cohen to make masking optional and at the discretion of local school boards.

“There are many groups aligning to file lawsuits against you both very soon if you do not lift this school mask mandate or at least make it up to the local school boards without criminal penalty,” Marshall wrote in both emails. “You are violating the constitutional rights of NC’s children. We will seek a meaningful injunction against you soon if you do not do the right thing and lift the child school mask mandate.”

Ultimately, the teachers’ group got what it wanted: While NCDHHS recommends that masks be worn in schools, the state is leaving masking decisions up to individual districts as well as charter and private schools.

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