CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan P. Sayers offered clarification today on the order “Directing Face Coverings in School Entities” put in place by Gov. Tom Wolf and the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Over the past few days, Sayers said the District Attorney’s Office has received numerous phone calls, e-mails and social media messages from law enforcement, school personnel and parents who are concerned about the impact of this order.
First and foremost, he said this statement is only intended to apply to the potential for criminal prosecutions based on the Pennsylvania Disease Control and Prevention Act and pertinent Pennsylvania Administrative Code sections, as it relates to the governor’s new mask mandate in all schools of this commonwealth.
“This does not in any way refer to violations of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code,” Sayers said, adding “any harassment, threats or violence directed to others for any reason will continue to be fully prosecuted by the Office of the District Attorney.”
“I agree with my fellow district attorneys across the commonwealth and am directing that this new mask mandate not be enforced via criminal citations in Clearfield County,” said Sayers.
“However, it is worth noting that my directive only applies to criminal liability and does not extend to or affect any civil or administrative actions that may be authorized by the Governor’s Order, specifically sanctions by school officials.
“The authority of the district attorney is limited to criminal enforcement of the commonwealth’s laws, and does not have the right to interfere with the decisions of school boards and school administrators.
“Along with other district attorneys, I commend our law enforcement officers, school board members and parents who are faced with the immediate prospect of dealing with this issue, and all of the potential chaos that it creates.
“I hope that all of you will continue to address these matters with civility, and have mutual respect for the different opinions that others might possess.”