Protest in support of Nico set for Sept. 8 in Manchester

Nico Sanfilippo

A peaceful protest to show support of Coffee County Central High School student Nico Sanfilippo, is set for 8:30 a.m., Sept. 8, at the Coffee County Courthouse in Manchester, according to Heather Murchison, Nico’s mother.

Murchison filed a lawsuit against Director of Coffee County Schools Dr. Charles Lawson and the Coffee County Board of Education in August. The complaint alleges the mask mandate approved by the school board on Aug. 10 violates state law.

“I have secured a permit for a peaceful protest on Sept. 8 at 8:30 a.m. at the old Coffee County courthouse on the square. (The event) is slated for over 250 people to stand with Nico before the court date and after.

“Nico is still being put in school suspension every day with children that are being disciplined. You have aldermen swearing in with no masks standing right next to each other.”

Everything culminates on Sept. 8, she said.

“Mothers and fathers are fed up with the school system trying to dictate to us how we navigate our children's health and wellness,” Murchison said. “Police are showing up at our doors if we are not logged in to their virtual system. The school board is overstepping their authority and we are not going to take it any longer. We want people to hold hands in solidarity for Nico's case and for the future legislation regarding our schools. When did parents lose the right to make health decisions for our children? The line is being blurred and if we just spectate the school system's word will be above ours. Next is mandatory vaccines and forced quarantine in a location deemed suitable by the school.”

About the lawsuit

Murchison filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief in the Circuit for the 14th Judicial District of Tennessee, Coffee County, at Manchester.

Parent files lawsuit against Coffee County Schools

Murchison is asking the court to enter a judgement finding that the board’s mandate is illegal because it denied Nico equal access to education opportunities. Plaintiff also asks that the court enter a temporary injunction prohibiting defendants from enforcing the board’s mandate. The plaintiffs ask to be awarded their costs and attorney fees necessitated by this action, according to the complaint.

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