A group of parents and a Wisconsin school option advocacy group are taking legal action against one city after it reportedly closed its public and independent schools in defiance of a state Supreme Court judgment preventing such closures in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.
The match was filed by the parents and School Choice Wisconsin after officials in Racine continued to need all schools stay closed from Nov. 27 through Jan. 15, 2021, the Daily Wire reported.
5 independent schools and 2 other various groups– represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty– asked the court for an injunction after Racine Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox issued an order Nov. 12 requiring schools to switch to virtual learning.
“We're concerned that, once again, individuals will not be accountable. They will connect with individuals outside their house. They'll go to gatherings and such,” she stated. “They won't be masked. They will not keep social distancing, and they will not stay at home when they're ill.”
Challengers argued that the switch would interfere with school schedules and that trainees will not benefit the like they would from in-person classes. Coronavirus is one of numerous factors at play that point towards enabling some kind of in-person guideline, stated Jim Bender, president of School Choice Wisconsin.
“All the schools, plainly in Racine, and around the state have actually worked overtime to produce safe, tidy facilities for trainees,” he told Fox News. “But COVID is not the only consider this choice. Kids require to be in school … considered that choice.
“There's economic impacts on the families, time dedications … all sorts of issues when you're discussing having thousands of students home,” he added.
Messages to Racine Mayor Cory Mason's workplace and the general public Health Department were not instantly returned.
On Nov. 25, the state Supreme Court approved a restraining order forbiding the city from closing schools. The order stands till the court decides on a comparable case in Dane County, 100 miles west.
“The very same day, Bowersox sent an e-mail to school administrators in Racine asserting the Court's judgment ‘does not alter the status' of the city's Safer Racine regulation, which just applies to the city,” reported conservative site Empower Wisconsin.
A spokeswoman for the Racine Unified School District told Fox News the court order differs from the city's rules.
“We are still closed since the city regulation (different than the order which was told by the Supreme Court) is still in impact mandating schools closed up until Jan. 15,” stated Stacy Tapp, chief of communications and community engagement for the school district.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty submitted an emergency situation motion asking the court to hold Bowersox in contempt and fine the city $2,000 for each day it defies the injunction according to Empower Wisconsin.
The group also implicated the city of including language to its existing Safer Racine ordinance, a series of COVID-19 mandates, to navigate the court order.