In California: Riots Good. Church Bad. School Bad.
Although mass "protests" have been permitted in the state of California, the governor, Gavin Newsom has been imposing increasingly Draconian restrictions on just about every other aspect of citizens' lives.
But a group of parents in CA are taking him to court over his in person schooling restrictions.
Nine California parents are suing the state over a plan announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week that would keep most schools closed for the beginning of the coming school year.
The 35-page complaint alleges parents and children are being denied their right under the California Constitution to a “basic minimum education” because of COVID-19 prevention measures that will continue distance learning for the vast majority of the state’s schoolchildren.
The suit also claims the guidelines violate the Equal Protection Clause by allowing certain schools, summer camps and childcare centers to remain open while forcing others to stay closed.
Newsom unveiled the new guidelines on Friday, which order public and private schools in counties on the state’s watch list to continue distance learning when the school year starts back up. Schools can welcome students back to campus when their county remains off the state’s monitoring list for 14 consecutive days.
Currently, there are 34 counties on the state’s monitoring list which are home to more than 37 million Californians.
Harmeet Dhillon, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said parents and elected school board leaders should be the ones driving decisions about whether to continue remote learning, return to in-person classes, or have some combination of the two.
“The governor took that choice away,” she said. “It’s devastating and it must be stopped.”
Dhillon and her nonprofit group Center for American Liberty have also challenged a number of Newsom’s early pandemic restrictions on churches, beaches, protests and other measures.
“I frankly thought we were reaching the end of having to litigate these issues in the courts,” she said.
But the San Francisco attorney and Republican Party official argues her group’s litigation strategy has worked.
“In response to our lawsuits, the Governor of California and the state have, in some cases worked with us, [and] in other cases, unilaterally gone and changed their orders” on churches, protests and certain businesses, Dhillon said.
The lawsuit argues distance learning adversely affects racial minorities, lower-income families, and special needs children."
And more from The Washington Times:
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court seeks an order blocking the state restrictions, and a ruling that the plaintiffs’ children “should be allowed in-person instruction without delay.”
“With the school year commencing in mere weeks from the date of this filing, time is of the essence, and the Court should not hesitate to ensure that Plaintiffs’ fundamental interests in securing a meaningful education for their children are preserved and protected from Defendants’ arbitrary actions,” said the motion.
Thirty-four of the state’s 58 counties, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco, are currently on the COVID-19 watchlist and would thus be ineligible for in-person instruction until they stabilize their cases and hospitalizations.
“Learning is non-negotiable,” said Mr. Newsom in a Friday statement. “The virus will be with us for a year or more, and school districts must provide meaningful instruction in the midst of this pandemic. In California, health data will determine when a school can be physically open – and when it must close – but learning should never stop.”
California and other Sun Belt states have become the summer hotspots for the virus, with 400,769 confirmed cases as of Tuesday and about 9,000 new cases per day for the past week, but the lawsuit pointed out that no children ages 0-17 have died in California from COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control reported that children are hospitalized at a rate of 5.3 per 100,000 compared to an overall rate of 113.6 per 100,000, while studies out of Europe, Asia and Australia show that children are not primary drivers of the virus.
The lawsuit cited a study released July 13 of 2,045 schoolchildren from the Dresden Technical University in Germany found that schools did not become hotspots after reopening, and that children may even serve as a “brake on infection.”
Ms. Dhillon said that the governor’s “inexplicable restrictions on school reopening [are] not based in scientific facts, and [are] completely arbitrary especially in light of the fact that California allows all of the functional components of schools allowed in camps and childcare.”
“More fundamentally, the school closing ‘plan’ is no plan at all, and ignores the state’s legal duties to California’s children,” she said.
A few days before Mr. Newsom’s announcement, the state’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, announced that they would open in the fall for only online learning.
The lawsuit also argued that the California plan discriminates against disadvantaged and minority students with less access to the reliable technology required for successful online learning.
“Wealthy parents can still hire tutors and educate their children at home, while most will be forced to choose between their jobs and their children,” said Ms. Dhillon. “Special needs children are left out in the cold altogether, despite federal and state mandates.”
Gavin Newsom has proven to be a power hungry ego maniac.
He has attempted to stifle just about any right possessed by California residents under the constitution, except the right to "protest."
He has banned singing in church, shut down beaches, and now wants to restrict schooling despite no data suggesting children are at severe risk from Covid, and ample data suggesting keeping kids out of school is dangerous for children on multiple levels.