Diocese of Lansing Files Lawsuit Against MDHHS to Reopen Schools
Just hours after Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced an extension to the current three week "pause' within the state of Michigan, the Diocese of Lansing’s Catholic Schools has filed a lawsuit.
The Diocese of Lansing’s Catholic schools along with their families have filed a federal lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Their lawsuit involves the 12-day extension of pandemic restrictions and their desire to open the high schools for in-person learning.
The announcement was made Monday evening on the Diocese of Lansing Facebook page. In the announcement, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Lansing, Tom Maloney said,
“Today’s order confirms our fear that MDHHS will continue to make decisions about closing schools, and in our specific case Catholic schools, without regard to the obvious and proven efficacy of our local COVID-19 school safety plans nor the uniqueness of our mission-based schools which are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution – therefore we support our families and schools in challenging this decision in court".
A separate lawsuit has also been filed against MDHHS Director Robert Gordon by the Diocese of Lansing and two Catholic High Schools, Lansing Catholic High School and Father Gabriel Richard High School in Ann Arbor. Their suit claims that the of closing religious high schools violates the First Amendment right to practice religion. The suit also will seeks protection for all MANS-member (Michigan Association of Nonpublic Schools) schools to reopen legally.
The statement provides statistics of cases and concern for educational value as basis for their lawsuit going on to say, “The truth is that teachers and parents are becoming increasingly concerned by the damage that is being done to our children’s educational, emotional and mental wellbeing by not being in-person at school.”
As part of the 12 day extension announced during a press conference by Gov. Whitmer, all Michigan high schools will remain closed while K-8 can resume in-person classes. Some districts within the state have opted to remain remote until January.
You can read the entire announcement by the Diocese of Lansing here.
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