Governor's discrimination beckons lawsuit

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

gavel with Bible and U.S. ConstitutionOregon's Democrat governor is facing a federal lawsuit for her refusal to treat private schools and public schools the same.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys representing Hermiston Christian School filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday to challenge Gov. Kate Brown's order threatening private schools with 30 days jail time and a $1,250 fine for reopening in-person instruction.

The governor wants many things to remain shut down reportedly as a way of combating the spread of COVID-19.

"While responding to a crisis can be difficult, this case certainly is not," says attorney Ryan Tucker of ADF, the law firm representing Hermiston Christian School.

After nearly two months of advising that Hermiston Christian School could provide in-person instruction to the 51 students enrolled in its K-12 program, Brown reversed course and on July 29 ordered private schools in Umatilla County and elsewhere to remain closed while offering exemptions to public schools with 75 or fewer students.

"There is no legitimate reason for allowing public schools with 75 or fewer students to provide in-person instruction while denying the same opportunity to small private schools, including religious ones," says Tucker.

Tucker

According to ADF, on the same day Brown extended the prohibition of in-person instruction to private schools, a spokesperson for the governor expressed a desire to prevent a "mass exodus" from public schools and emphasized that public schools could suffer a reduction in funding if students disenrolled to obtain education elsewhere.

"Hermiston Christian School operates in the same county as a public school that is open, and it operates with the same number of students who are performing the same type of activity, working in an even larger physical environment and complying with the same health and safety protocols," Tucker reports.

OneNewsNow is seeking comment from the governor's office.

"Governor Brown's refusal to extend the same treatment to Hermiston Christian School as she does the small public schools violates the U.S. Constitution and discriminates against parents who choose to provide a religious education for their children," the ADF attorney concludes.

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