San Diego judge rules to block enforcement of school closures

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HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: An empty classroom is seen at Hollywood High School on August 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California. With over 734,000 enrolled students, the Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest public school system in California and the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. With the advent of COVID-19, blended learning, or combined online and classroom learning, will become the norm for the coming school year. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: An empty classroom is seen at Hollywood High School on August 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California. With over 734,000 enrolled students, the Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest public school system in California and the 2nd largest public school district in the United States. With the advent of COVID-19, blended learning, or combined online and classroom learning, will become the norm for the coming school year. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 13: An empty classroom is seen at Hollywood High School on August 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 5:25 PM PT – Friday, March 19, 2021

A Southern California judge said that her ruling in a local lawsuit to reopen schools applies to districts statewide.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Freeland clarified Wednesday that her ruling, which blocks California from enforcing pandemic based school closures, applies to all school districts in the state.

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2021, file photo, Clarendon Alternative Elementary School fourth-grader Ayla Einhorn works on her computer as students and parents attend distance learning Zoom classes at Midtown Terrace Playground in San Francisco. School officials plan to reopen classrooms for some of the youngest students beginning April 12 under a tentative deal reached with the teachers union, according to San Francisco Chronicle newspaper report. The agreement was announced late Friday, March 5, 2021, after months of debate over how and when kids would return to in-person instruction as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations decline statewide. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 18, 2021, file photo, Clarendon Alternative Elementary School fourth-grader Ayla Einhorn worked on her computer at Midtown Terrace Playground in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

 

The Parent Association of North County San Diego filed the lawsuit against state officials closing schools. Freeland granted them and six other districts a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of several pandemic rules, which the association alleged kept schools from reopening for in-person learning.

“The judge really indicated that there is a fundamental right to education, which we’ve always contended that there’s a constitutional right in the California constitution to an education, and that that wasn’t being met in this case, that distance learning does not meet the requirements,” Scott Davidson, a member of the Parent Association said.

A follow-up hearing is scheduled for March 31 to determine if the rest of California’s school districts can fully reopen.

Schools were told to bring their plans to reopen as close to full-time as they are able to do so safely.

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