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Attorney Harmeet Dhillon. (Photo: Center for American Liberty)

Parents, Center For American Liberty Sue Gov. Newsom, California Over School Reopening Plans

Lawsuit alleges keeping schools closed violates state Constitution and Fourteenth Amendment

By Evan Symon, July 23, 2020 6:32 am

On Wednesday, nine California parents and the civil liberties group Center for American Liberty sued Governor Gavin Newsom and the state of California over a plan unveiled by Newsom last Friday to close most in-person schooling in California for the fall semester.

Nine Parents and Center for American Liberty sue California

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, had first been announced on Monday by Center for American Liberty Founder and Lawyer Harmeet Dhillon. The parents filed the lawsuit because they claim that, under the state’s guidelines, their children are not receiving the “basic minimum education” guaranteed by the state Constitution. Specifically, the suit says that distance learning does not constitute the amount of education needed.

The suit also argues that California is also breaking the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, noting that different counties have different amounts of in-school and distance learning based on the county COVID-19 watchlist.

Dhillon has said that local school boards and parents should be deciding whether or not to reopen schools, not having counties or the state decide across the board.

“The governor took that choice away,” said Dhillon on Wednesday. “It’s devastating and it must be stopped. That is not a decision that the state can or should make.”

“All of these children we saw in the spring semester of this year were failed by the state of California and its educational plans. I frankly thought we were reaching the end of having to litigate these issues in the courts.”

In addition to parent and school board choice, Dhillon has also said that, after talks with parents and teachers, that remote learning doesn’t work, and that children are being negatively affected, with minorities, lower-income people, and those with special needs being hurt the most.

“Even parents with the most motivated and academically successful children reported depression, anxiety, withdrawal, behavioral issues, a lack of motivation,” added Dhillon.

Many educators say remote learning can save lives from COVID-19

While the state has yet to respond to the new lawsuit, many educators have said that while many prefer in-person classes as well, this is being done in the name of safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that distance-learning can work.

“We had, what, 12,000 new cases today?,” asked middle school teacher Tasha Irving in a California Globe interview. “Schools congregate a lot of people, not just kids. A lot of adults work close by here too. Teachers, admin staff, nurses, assistants, janitors, and so many more. Not to mention parents coming by for pick-ups and things like that. Do you really want schools to reopen and then explain to your students a few weeks later about how some of their parents or teachers got sick from it?”

“It’s about public health. Different counties have different rules because some are more rural and don’t need as much protection like, say, LA or other districts with high numbers of cases. And they are still getting the class time needed remotely. Granted, it’s not the best system, but it’s staying at home for school for a few months against costing more people their lives and health.”

“Every time I see a parent on TV saying ‘Take my kids’ I get angry. They aren’t thinking about the consequences there.”

“Right now none of my districts schools will be open and some of us have had parents call us asking if they can take their kids to our home instead. I don’t know what is wrong with those people.”

“It’s all for health safety until we get out of this pandemic. There’s no spin or anything here. We don’t want to help spread this. If they’re open, then they become like prisons or those parties people in Florida had: breeding grounds for COVID-19.”

The suit is expected to be heard in the Los Angeles district court in the coming weeks.

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6 thoughts on “Parents, Center For American Liberty Sue Gov. Newsom, California Over School Reopening Plans

  1. I agree with Newsome only on this issue. He can shut down the schools for safety of life issues. The parents want their children back in school, because it’s a free babysitting place and they get an education. Parents can accept the distance learning and get involved in their children’s education as well, so it’s a win , win for all. If you have children, you are responsible for their education and this is the opportunity to parent & teach & become a necessary person in their lives. Food & clothing are necessary, but cut backs can be made in all areas of life, to provide what’s necessary instead of what’s wanted.
    Everyone wants that huge house, with a swimming pool and cars for each driver in the house. The problem is, it’s a parents responsibility t step up and educate their children in a crisis. The pandemic is a great learning tool for older children to get them to understand the need to learn math ti balance a checkbook & learn how to count money to make sure your not short changed.
    Life has so many learning tools to share with your children. It might not be the same learning they were getting In school, but trust me when I say; it’s so important that children understand math, science, reading, writing, English & world history. The rest is just for creativity and individuality in favorites like music, art & of course some physical fitness.

    1. This is not about “babysitting”. Kids need school for growth and development. I am positive I can teach 3rd grade to my little one. Too many people don’t understand the mental impact this decision is making on kids with no activities and no where to go. As well as the financial impact on parents. No, I don’t have a big phone with a swimming pool and i can probably say that for most parents. If i did i would hire a teacher to come in and teach him. This has a great impact on our poor community as well where they are left with only one option to quit there job and stay home with kids.

    2. Fine, return my CA property and other taxes which go to public education. I will happily find alternatives to public schooling for my kids. Otherwise, stop pretending it’s about safety, and admit this is a political gambit by CTA, other public sector unions, and CA Democrats. I’ll wait…

  2. Interesting…they don’t close the schools during flu season every year….

    Tucker Carlson was right today, the Covid cover is a smokescreen for social unrest & discord, being used for political destabilization….

  3. Stop the focus on the number of cases. The more cases equal herd immunity. The focus should always be on the death percentage. 99.74% of cases will not result in death! The damage that is being done by the ruling left in California to our financial and mental health is devastating and people have to understand that in the heart of the Left they don’t care. It’s a reality that is very hard to grasp but never the less true. Everyone should read Joel Kotkins article that deals with the reality of California. The number of families leaving the state will only increase and to think it was all so avoidable.

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