North County

Judge Pushes Back Hearing on Reopening North County Schools Lawsuit to Monday

The state said it needed more time to respond to the amendments in the lawsuit so the judge granted its request to push the hearing to Monday

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A group of North County parents who sued the state of California to get their children back into classrooms was met with a setback Wednesday when a judge held off a decision on the case.

The Parent Association of North County San Diego, an organization of parents whose children attend school in North County, is suing Gov. Gavin Newsom, other state leaders and school districts in Carlsbad, Poway, Oceanside, San Marcos, Vista and San Dieguito to have all classrooms reopen.

During a virtual ex parte hearing on Wednesday, a judge decided to put off on making a decision regarding the parent association’s request for an injunction to allow students to return to class for in-person learning.

The state said it needed more time to respond to amendments in the lawsuit.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s been nearly a year since many students have stepped foot in a classroom. Since last March, thousands of San Diego County students have been learning remotely and some parents say the isolation of distance learning has impacted their children’s mental health and grades.

California’s guidelines state counties that remain on the red tier of its color-coded system for at least two weeks can resume in-person learning. San Diego County, however, remains in the purple tier.

With those guidelines, middle and high schools have been unable to reopen and parents involved in the lawsuit say that is unfair since some schools have been open for months.

“We have high school juniors and seniors whose grades are falling through the floor and they’re applying for colleges and there’s extreme irremediable harm that’s being suffered by these children,” said Lee Andelin, the plaintiffs’ attorney. “The state has been dragging its feet at least certainly since January when the latest framework was issued.”

Plaintiffs asked the judge if the hearing could be rescheduled to Friday, but the state pushed to reschedule to Monday. The judge granted the state’s request and the next hearing is scheduled for Monday morning.

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