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Another Wisconsin parent sues over school's lack of COVID-19 protocols

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Beaver Dam school mask protest, Beaver Dam photo

Protesters gather outside Beaver Dam High School on Sept. 20, objecting to the school district's policy requiring face masks.

Another Wisconsin parent has filed a federal lawsuit over the lack of COVID-19 protocols at her son’s school.

WEAU-TV reported that Gina Kildahl filed the suit on Monday in Madison seeking an injunction forcing the Fall Creek School District to comply with U.S. Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 guidelines for schools.

She alleges the district ended its mitigation policies for the 2021-22 school year and two of her son’s classmates tested positive for the disease on Sept. 20 and Sept. 24. One of them didn’t wear a mask to school. She alleges her son, who wore a mask, tested positive on Sept. 27 and missed two weeks of school while in quarantine.

Kildahl alleges the district violated her son’s equal protection rights and caused his infection. The lawsuit compares the school to a “COVID-19 snake pit.”

The filing mirrors a lawsuit a woman filed in federal court in Milwaukee on Oct. 5 seeking an order forcing the Waukesha School District to comply with COVID guidelines, alleging classmates infected her son.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that according to Shannon Jensen’s lawsuit, the board in May removed a student mask requirement and other COVID-19 mitigation measures. One of Jensen’s son’s classmates came to school with symptoms in September and didn’t wear a mask. Jensen’s son was seated next to the sick student and was wearing a mask but still became infected. Jensen’s other two sons later tested positive as well.

School Board president Joseph Como declined comment on the lawsuit.

The Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC is funding the lawsuits. The brewing company is owned by Kirk Bangstad, who has aired his frustrations about how former President Donald Trump’s administration responded to the pandemic. He ran unsuccessfully against incumbent state Rep. Rob Swearingen, R-Rhinelander, last year.

Bangstad posted on Facebook on Sunday that he wants to sue every Wisconsin school board that doesn’t follow CDC guidelines.

The company’s products include “Biden Beer,” named for President Joe Biden; “Tammy Shandy,” named for Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin; and “Evers Ale,” named for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

The lawsuit compares the school to a “COVID-19 snake pit."

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