Niece of Chicago Bears Legend Brian Urlacher Suspended From School for Refusing to Mask Up

The niece of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher was suspended from school Thursday for not wearing a face covering amid a statewide mask mandate in Illinois.

Sheri Urlacher told CBS Chicago that her daughter NaTalia, a freshman at Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois, was suspended for one day after attending her first day at school Thursday without a mask.

The school offered her a mask to wear, but she wore under her chin in class, CBS Chicago and the Daily Herald reported. Urlacher told her daughter "don't ever put the mask on and restrict your breathing."

"We live a healthy lifestyle. My girls are both elite athletes, so they know what healthy living is," Urlacher said. "We're confident that our immune systems are intact and working properly, so we don't wear masks."

NaTalia is exempted from wearing a mask for medical reasons, and her mother said that NaTalia didn't argue when asked to wear one.

"They asked her several times to put the mask on," Sheri said, CBS Chicago reported. "She ended up just putting it under her chin, which is also where most the other students wear their masks."

Urlacher also noted that she wants the school board to provide scientific evidence that masks are harmless to children who wear them "for over 30 hours a week."

"No one can provide this data to me," she said. "So I can't participate in the child abuse of my child."

NaTalia returned to school on Friday, according to her mother, and wore the mask but under her chin.

Urlacher added that she has been talking to attorneys since Thursday in an effort to resist the mask mandate by potentially taking legal action.

Sheri Urlacher is the sister of Brian Urlacher, the famed linebacker who played for the Chicago Bears from 2000 to 2012, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211, said in a statement that the school is enforcing the state's mask mandate to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to the Daily Herald.

"A student's refusal to wear a mask poses a potential threat to the safety of other students and staff as we return to full in-person instruction," the district said.

On August 4, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced a statewide mask mandate in all public and private schools, requiring students to wear masks in classrooms regardless of vaccine status.

"Too few school districts have chosen to follow the federal Centers for Disease Control prescriptions for keeping students and staff safe," Pritzker said during a conference at the time.

"Without these measures, we would likely see many more outbreaks than in the latter half of the last school year. Preventing outbreaks from the start also prevents kids from having to stay home because they're sick or in quarantine," Pritzker added.

Newsweek contacted the district but didn't receive a response by the time of publication.

Brian Urlacher'd niece suspended from school
Stock photo. The niece of Chicago Bears great Brian Urlacher was suspended from school Thursday for not wearing a mask amid a statewide mask mandate in Illinois. istock/Getty/Marta Ortiz