The city of San Francisco filed suit against its own school district on Wednesday, demanding the reopening of schools to students.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closing of schools, City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the school board has had plenty of time to formulate and implement a plan for reopening.
Students in districts just outside San Francisco, as well as those enrolled in the city’s private schools, have returned to in-school learning, the lawsuit said.
The suit alleged San Francisco school board’s reopening plan violated a California mandate that required a clear procedure “to offer classroom-based instruction whenever possible,” per Axios.
“The Board of Education and the school district have had more than 10 months to roll out a concrete plan to get these kids back in school,” Herrera said. “So far they have earned an F. Having a plan to make a plan doesn’t cut it.”
Mayor London Breed and other officials said the school board has focused more on issues such as renaming 44 schools to address perceived racial issues., per The Wall Street Journal.
Parents and some public officials have said months of remote learning were resulting in children falling behind.
“They are being turned into Zoombies by online schools,” Herrera said. “Enough is enough.”
California teachers unions insist they won’t return to classrooms until they’re vaccinated and more COVID-19 safeguards are in place.
The Journal reported San Francisco school board and district officials cited a lack of testing and vaccines, and new variants as reasons for holding off returning to classrooms.
School Board President Gabriela Lopez said her officials asked the city to lead the effort to provide surveillance testing for staff and students. Instead, the district must go through a competitive bidding process to find a provider for that state requirement.
“Most urban school districts across the state are in the same position — one big difference is, their mayors are fully supporting them,” Lopez said in a statement.
According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit was the first of its kind in California.
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