Missoula Schools Attorney to Parents: “The District Does Not Need Your Consent”

Missoula County Public Schools Attorney Elizabeth Kaleva. Photo by Missoula County Sheriff's Department. <a href="https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/crime-and-courts/attorney-for-western-montana-school-districts-pleads-guilty-to-dui/article_97d8c3b9-2688-54a4-a61b-1018764de6bf.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">February 3, 2018.</a>
Missoula County Public Schools Attorney Elizabeth Kaleva. Photo by Missoula County Sheriff's Department. February 3, 2018.

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Missoula County Public Schools attorney Elizabeth Kaleva told the parent of an Alberton School student in an email that the school district “does not need your consent” to coerce students into wearing masks or possible testing requirements. Alberton Superintendent and “Google Certified Teacher” Jeff Crews was included in the email. The school district attorney’s reasoning challenges an August joint statement from Governor Greg Gianforte and State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen directing Montana school boards to allow for parental choice when determining the health of their own children.

Kaleva’s statement was in response to an Alberton School parent who filed a Formal Letter of Grievance with the School District regarding testing and mandatory face masks on August 31st. In the parent’s letter, they notified the district that they do not consent to having their children’s face masked for eight hours a day or to regular testing of their children. “Coercion is not consent, I just want to make that clear,” the parents letter to the district stated. “I have sent in a previous formal letter of grievance and have not heard anything back. I am still pursuing all options to retain my parental rights.”

The parent said in the letter that if their students choose to take off their mask, the school should “respect that and ask if they need anything and to hear them out.”

School attorney Kaleva disagreed with the parent stating that the board would formally rule on the parent’s grievance at its next school board meeting. Kaleva told the parent that, in the meantime, “the district does not need your consent for your children to follow the rules.”

The school’s attorney also said that she did not doubt that parents have done their own research regarding mask efficacy, but that the school will “rely on the advice of medical experts” including from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Montana Medical Association.

Two weeks ago, the Montana Department of Public Health released an emergency health rule stating that there was no evidence that masks are effective at reducing infections of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that can cause COVID-19. A lawsuit has been filed with several Missoula school districts and Missoula County requesting a restraining order and injunction against school mask mandates. An in-person hearing on the preliminary injunction request is set for Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at 9:00 AM.

Formal Letter of Grievance from parent to Alberton School. August 31, 2021.
Missoula County Public Schools attorney Elizabeth Kaleva message to parents. September 1, 2021.

Roy McKenzie

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4 Comments

  1. Roger Mitchell on September 15, 2021 at 7:08 am

    Even though I am against the masking of kids in school, I will say that the attorney is correct in this matter. Schools do not need parental consent to act.

    Schools, administrators, and teachers do not work for the parents nor for students. They work for the State and they do whatever their employer tells them. They may listen to parental/student concerns, but State mandates and directions carry more weight in the decision making. Argument, discussion, and petition have their place, but these are often exercises in futility. Since the State is becoming increasingly coercive, it follows that the schools will as well.

    There is only one option which will return control to the parents–pull your kids out of the State school system and take on the responsibility and burden yourself. This may be impractical for some. It will be inconvenient for others. It is necessary if any modicum of freedom is to be retained for both parents and students. The only other path is to maintain the status quo, further enslaving future generations.

    Unfortunately, this is not palatable to many who think that they can have their cake and eat it at the same time. Children WILL be educated by someone. It is only a question of by whom they will be, and if parents are not satisfied with the present condition, they need to withdraw from the system and start over in a different direction.

  2. Charles Ibey on September 14, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    No covid should have school control, only parental control is warranted.. this is no buisness of government in any way.

  3. Lindsey Oberquell - Trustee, Woodman Elementary on September 14, 2021 at 6:42 am

    Where did “google certified teacher” from? You know he was a college professor in the early 2000s right?

    • Roy McKenzie on September 14, 2021 at 6:59 am

      “Google Certified Teacher” is the first item listed in Jeff’s bio on Twitter and in his LinkedIn profile. A real life college professor, you say? Fascinating. Thanks for reading!

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