EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) — The Oklahoma County District Court has issued a temporary injunction against Edmond Public Schools, in line with the group of parents who requested the warrant due to the school district’s COVID-19 protocols.
“The Edmond Public School District has been temporarily PROHIBITED from implementing or enforcing its COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated students because plaintiffs determined the protocols likely violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to United States Constitution,” the district court judge said in the injunction order.
The school management issued the following statement in response to the order:
“Edmond Public Schools respects the court and the thoughtfulness of Judge Andrews’ decision, but we are confident that our Covid safety procedures, developed in conjunction with trusted state health officials, were created in the best interest of students and staff.”
EDMOND PUBLIC SCHOOLS
These are parents who disagree with school district policies requiring unvaccinated students who have been closely exposed to COVID-19 to be quarantined.
The six parents applied for provisional relief in September.
The school district has amended its COVID protocol since the lawsuit filed, moving from mandatory quarantine for unvaccinated students exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine notification.
“Parents will still be notified when their child has been in close contact with a positive case of COVID and will then have the responsibility of whether or not to quarantine their child. If something changes or a new variant causes a resurgence of cases, we will restore the quarantines if we stay above the 0.5% threshold for several days in the future,” the school district’s website said.
The plaintiffs, six people who are parents of students in the school district, requested the ban in September.
School district officials consulted with Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) officials last summer to seek advice on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools in Edmond.
OCCHD officials advised school staff to quarantine individuals who A) had been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case; B) have not been vaccinated against COVID-19; and C) had not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, according to the court order.
The Edmond Public Schools administrators established COVID-19 quarantine protocols on August 18.
The protocols required unvaccinated students who were determined to have had “close contact” with someone who was positive for COVID-19 and who had not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days to quarantine at home for seven to 10 days. .
“Even if an unvaccinated student did not show signs or symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, district policy requires the student to self-isolate at home,” the court order said.
An unvaccinated student who completed quarantine was allowed to return to face-to-face classes without being vaccinated or proving that he had been vaccinated.
Plaintiffs said their children experienced negative psychological and physical effects from the quarantine. Those negative effects are described below:
- A child with behavioral problems who becomes extremely violent;
- Significantly less personalized instruction for a disabled child with special needs;
- A drop in numbers;
- suicidal tendencies;
- Psychosomatic effects of isolation;
- Losing the ability to absorb nutrients, causing weight loss during quarantine;
- Signs of anxiety;
- Talking about death more and more.
The judge said the evidence shows that quarantining unvaccinated, yet healthy children did not slow the spread of COVID, and that the plaintiffs’ children were negatively affected by being quarantined. The judge said in the court’s ruling:
“The district quarantined unvaccinated yet healthy children out of concern that some of those students could become asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. But evidence before the Court shows that in practice the policy of removing unvaccinated yet healthy children from the classroom showed no benefit in slowing the spread of COVID-19. However, the policies have inflicted massive harm on some of those students, pushing some to the brink of suicide while others have fallen significantly behind in their studies. The district’s policies are irrational and do not balance the known dangers associated with quarantining children and the fear of asymptomatic spread among unvaccinated students.”
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