Racine Private Schools Ask Wisconsin Supreme Court For Clarification; Claim City Health Department Overstepping Its Bounds – Racine County Eye

1December 2020

MADISON– A legal advocacy organization submitted an emergency movement with the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday contending that the Racine Department of Public Health has no right to purchase the closure of schools, within the city limits, in an effort to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 infection.

The Wisconsin Institute of Law & & Liberty (WILL) argued that the city health department ought to be discovered in contempt for buying all city schools closed because of a Nov. 25 Wisconsin Supreme Court short-term injunction versus an earlier city order impacting schools in the City of Racine and the Villages of Wind Point and Elmwood Park. In that injunction, the state high court agreed that it would not choose whether the order was legal up until it decided on a comparable case connected to Dane County school closures. Oral arguments in the Dane County case are set up for Dec. 8.

Citing an escalation in COVID-19 cases, Racine's city health department on Nov. 12 ordered all public and private schools within its jurisdiction (City of Racine, Wind Point and Elmwood Park) to suspend in-person classes from Nov. 27 through Jan. 15. After getting the Nov. 25 short-term injunction, Racine Public Health Administrator Dottie Kay Bowersox emailed school administrators a message mentioning that Supreme Court's determination “does not modify the status of the City of Racine Safer Racine Ordinance which applies only to the City of Racine.”

WILL called foul on that communication Monday.

“The City of Racine is attempting to illegally evade the Wisconsin Supreme Court's injunction by enacting a new closure mandate similar to the one the Court told,” WILL mentioned in a news release. “WILL's clients, consisting of private schools and parents in Racine, deserve the certainty that they have the option to lawfully go back to the class without contravening of the City of Racine Public Health Department.”

WILL submitted Monday's motion on behalf School Choice Wisconsin Action, Wisconsin Council of Religious & & Independent Schools, EverGreen Academy, Racine Christian School, Racine Lutheran High School, St. John's Lutheran Church & & School, Trinity Lutheran School and specific parents. WILL asked the high court to find Bowersox and the city health department in contempt and be purchased to pay “approximately $2,000 each day” to the schools and moms and dads.

On Monday, Racine Lutheran High School, St. Catherine's Middle and High School, St. Lucy Grade School, St. Joseph School and John Paul II Academy had actually transformed to online learning, according to school site and social media pages. The Racine Unified School District (RUSD) has used virtual classes given that the academic year began in September.

The dispute has no impact on schools found in towns outside the City of Racine, such as Caledonia, Mount Pleasant, or Sturtevant.

In addition to our education functions, we'll be beginning a series of stories highlighting how moms and dads, trainees, and teachers are adjusting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is necessary to you, please consider contributing to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/

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