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Late Friday evening, August 21, 2020 Tyler & Bursch, LLP in conjunction with Advocates for Faith & Freedom filed two Writ Petitions naming Gavin Newsom, in his official capacity as Governor of California and Sandra Shewry, in her official capacity as the State Public Health Officer and Department of Public Health Director seeking an injunction to set aside the state orders that prevent schools from opening for in-person classes.

Today, the Court ordered Governor Newsom to respond to both Petitions by 3:00 p.m. August 28, 2020, and “does not contemplate granting any requests for extension of time.”  Letters from the Court are linked HERE and HERE.

The Writ Petition filed in the California Supreme Court on behalf of private schools Immanuel Schools; Linfield Christian School; Calvary Murrieta; Calvary Chapel Of San Jose; Clovis Christian Schools; and parents Regina Bailey; Nicole Hill; Katie MacDonnell; and Jenny Pierce Heil is linked HERE.

The Writ Petition filed in the California Supreme Court on behalf of public schools Orange County Board of Education; Palm Lane Charter School; and parents Juaquin Cruz; Angela Miller; and Cecilia Ochoa is linked HERE.

Both Petitions were filed in response to the closure of all California schools and the conditions that must be met in order to obtain and maintain waivers to reopen are deemed unconstitutional under the equal protection clause.

Jennifer Bursch, Partner at Tyler & Bursch, LLP explains, “These lawsuits were drafted to protect the rights of children throughout California to receive a rigorous education. They were drafted on behalf of parents who are placed in the impossible position of choosing between their child’s education and providing the basic necessities for their families.  They were drafted on behalf of the private schools throughout California who are not receiving any state or federal funds and are perilously close to never again opening their doors to the children and communities they serve. They were drafted to relieve the education system from the burden of choosing between enforcement against schools or violating students’ fundamental rights.”

“The Governor’s executive orders and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) directives forcing the majority of public and private schools to begin the school year with distance learning are based on faulty premises and false promises. As the Governor himself has admitted, the digital divide is unwieldy and is impacting the most vulnerable among us. That divide is not going to be closed over the course of a few weeks,” added Tyler & Bursch, LLP Partner, Robert Tyler.

The governor’s orders and CDPH directives are unconstitutional, as they undermine the fundamental right to an education for students and threaten to force the closure of hundreds of private schools across the state who are not receiving any state funds and cannot exist without the ability to open their doors without governmental interference.

Tyler & Bursch, LLP is representing these plaintiffs pro bono to protect the vulnerable children in California. The lawsuit is supported by the nonprofit legal organization, Advocates for Faith & Freedom.