Williamson County (TN)Lawsuit Against Lee Administration Gets Backing from Local Pastors

Andy Spears
2 min readSep 22, 2021

Among the lawsuits stacking up against Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee for his non-response to COVID-19 is one from parents in Williamson County claiming the governor’s executive order allowing opt-outs of universal mask mandates creates a hardship for students with disabilities.

That suit has now picked up the support of local pastors in Williamson County who say Lee has a moral duty to protect all children.

“From the start of this pandemic Governor Lee has not approached this crisis from a public health perspective,” said Rev. Brandon Baxter, Associate Pastor of West End United Methodist Church and Parent of children in Williamson County Schools. “His ‘fend-for-yourself’ approach has pitted us against each other so that communities are fighting against each other instead of coming together to fight against the virus.

“Now, unfortunately, school aged children have become victims of political rhetoric instead of being the recipients of common sense care and protection from their leaders. Governor Lee’s Opt-Out Executive Order allows families to opt out of masking protocols that would keep all our children safe. This suit comes from parents of children with disabilities whose children are not safe or protected in school when many parents opt their children out of the temporary mask requirement. Every child, no matter where they live or what health conditions they live with, deserves to feel safe at school. As Christians we should be the first to do all that we can to show love to our vulnerable neighbors and this includes wearing a mask to protect them. I call on Governor Lee to consider the public good and to rescind his executive order so that all children, and especially those who are the most vulnerable, will be able to be safer at school.”

“Jesus said, ‘let the little children come to me’ and He always prioritized children and the vulnerable in His ministry,” said Rev. Dave Gerber, a Williamson County Hospice Chaplain. “I worked for decades as a chaplain in a children’s hospital, and I saw first hand what it looks like when people prioritize the most vulnerable among us in society, our children. And that is exactly what Jesus calls us to as Christians and why I support these Williamson County parents. It is my hope and prayer that we will see changes come from our leaders, from school administrators, to school board members, to the governor, that finally prioritize the health and safety of our children, especially our children with special needs, whom we know Jesus calls on us to love and care for in both word and deed.”

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

For more on Tennessee politics, follow Andy Spears

Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .