A group of California parents has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to challenge Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s one-size-fits-all approach to reopening schools in counties being monitored for coronavirus progress.
The parents, coordinating with the Dhillon Law Group, told The Federalist (where I also have a byline) the struggles associated with getting their children an education when those students aren’t allowed to attend in-person classes. The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to an education, but the California Constitution does, according to The Federalist. But the type of education children are getting in 80% of California schools is not making parents feel secure.
More than 1,000 districts, which include 10,500 schools and about 6.1 million students, fall under the state monitoring list and are banned from in-person classes.
“A one-size-fits-all solution is not the correct approach,” one of the plaintiffs, a father in south Orange County, told The Federalist. “We really need to have these decisions at the district level because there are nearly 30 school districts in Orange County and they all have vastly different demographics, different population densities, different case numbers, and so for the governor to take this away from the local districts really doesn’t make sense.”
Another plaintiff, a registered Democrat and mother of a daughter starting transitional kindergarten, asked the outlet how Newsom “thinks he knows what’s best for more than 40 million people?”
“While Gov. Cuomo has made his share of mistakes dealing with the coronavirus, at least he recognizes that with a decision this important, there has to be meaningful input from the parents and local districts at the ground level,” she added.
The Orange County father, whose son finished kindergarten under coronavirus lockdown and is beginning first grade now, also said he and his wife were “really worried about the long-term, lifelong negative effects this might have on [our son] if schools remain closed.”
“It’s just going to be so difficult on him at such a young age because social skills are so important to develop at that age. And distance learning for a six-year-old is just nonsense,” he added.
Another father who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit spoke of the different hardships his son, who is entering his senior year of high school, faced.
“We don’t even know where to begin. Schools closed before he could take the SAT last spring,” the father said.
“We don’t even know what colleges we’re going to be looking at in the fall,” he continued. “It makes it very stressful as we’re trying to help him make decisions that will influence the rest of his life when there are no answers, and there isn’t even a timeline of when there will be answers.”
The father also has a younger daughter entering eighth grade who misses the social aspect of school.
“How do you have that connection with somebody who is on the other side of the monitor?” he said. “As a dad, you become her friend group as well.”
Yet another parent, a mother, said teachers weren’t even grading by the end of the previous school year.
“They just wanted the assignments turned in, so even if my son, who was so unmotivated like all the other seniors, turned it in like weeks later, it was still counted as 100 percent,” she said. “All the parents are talking about how their kids are unmotivated, sleeping the entire day, logging onto school around 3 or 4 [p.m.] when they woke up.”
Author: Ashe Schow