MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The debate over masks in schools takes another twist on Sunday when a federal judge blocked Tennessee’s law, which bans mask mandates in schools. That law just went into effect on Friday.

Several school districts across the area have issued new mask policies in light of the statewide law that took effect last week. But those plans could change after this order was issued by a federal judge.

Friday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill, banning mask mandates in schools.

Hours later, a lawsuit was filed by 8 parents – who claim the law puts children with disabilities at risk of catching COVID-19.

Today a federal judge made a ruling — blocking the current law in three Tennessee counties – including Shelby.

Judge Waverly Crenshaw said the new law creates “confusion” in pending litigation – so he ordered everyone involved to “maintain the status quo” – from before the law went into effect.

“I have a real bad problem with the idea of Governor deciding what’s best for every family,” Tamika Barnes, a concerned parent told us.

Tamika Barnes has nieces and nephews who attend schools all across Shelby County and believes parents should be able to decide what’s best for them.

“I think what teachers are suggesting should be heavily considered, but again you have to consider kids who have disorders and things that masks are not healthy for them,” Barnes said.

This latest court decision follows another ruling – by a separate federal judge – allowing Shelby County Schools to keep their mask mandate in place. 

SCS teacher, Kendall Visinsky, agrees wholeheartedly with that decision.

“I would prefer that students, especially knowing that the grades that I teach don’t have the option to be vaccinated yet wear their mask,” Visinsky said. “But again, I’m supportive of families doing what’s right for their family.”

A hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon at 1, where the judge will decide if his “status quo” order will remain in place.

WREG will update as more information becomes available.