BIG BREAKING NEWS – LAWSUIT FILED: Christian school sues Governor over in-person coronavirus restrictions [#HermistonChristianSchool #GovKateBrown] 10/19
A private Christian school in Umatilla County has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Kate Brown and other state and county officials challenging the governor’s order restricting in-person instruction in private, religious schools during the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorneys for Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hermiston Christian School, a K-12 school affiliated with The Assemblies of God.
According to the lawsuit, the school believes it has been discriminated against, claiming the state is violating its First Amendment rights by prohibiting the free exercise of religion while public schools can be allowed to provide in-person instruction.
The lawsuit claims that a motive for the discrimination can be shown because a policy adviser for Kate Brown “discussed the potential for a ‘mass exodus’ of children from public schools and emphasized that public schools could suffer a reduction in funding if students disenrolled to obtain education elsewhere.”
It says the discrimination is evident even when religious schools follow the same health and safety guidance of public schools.
The lawsuit says the school was told it could provide in-person instruction but then the governor changed course and added guidance that “prohibits religious schools from providing in-person instruction unless and until the county where they operate meets certain ‘community health metrics.'”
But then a public school was allowed to open in a county that did not meet the standards, according to the lawsuit.
The school says it has found itself in a difficult spot.
It says if it follows its religious convictions and provides in-person instruction, it could be fined and people could be sent to prison.
If it does not provide in-person instruction, it may be forced to close.
Also named as defendants in the lawsuit: Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill, Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen and others, including Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan.
Hermiston Christian school sues Gov. Brown over in-person coronavirus restrictions:
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