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Hudson mother filed lawsuit as some schools resume in-person classes

Posted at 6:39 AM, Oct 20, 2020

HUDSON, Ohio — A Hudson Ohio mother has now filed a lawsuit against the Hudson City Schools, claiming her middle school-aged daughter is facing undue COVID-19 risk after the district announced K-8 students would return to the classroom on Oct. 19.

Attorney Brenden Kelley filed the lawsuit in Summit County Court on behalf of the mother, who didn't want to be identified.

The storyfirst published by our news partner the Akron Beacon Journal.

Kelley said the district didn't follow guidelines in a published Aug. 11 memo that it wouldn't go back to in-person learning unless Summit County saw 4 to 6 weeks of declining COVID-19 cases.

Last week the State of Ohio placed Summit County and 28 other counties in a "red level three" status due to increasing COVID-19 benchmarks.

“The lawsuit is very simple,” Kelley said.

“I told the mother the school board promised that they were not going to put your daughter in a dangerous situation, unless and until the situation with COVID was getting better.”

“Case positivity rates are up, hospitalizations are up, ICU rates are up.“All we’re asking is that they follow their own plan, that they follow the guidance of doctors and scientists," Kelley said.

“We’re not asking for the Summit County Board of Health to get involved, we’re asking the court to enter into a temporary restraining order, and we hope that the school board will work this out.”

“We hope that the school board and the superintendent will come to their senses and find a solution to this."

Kelley said the lawsuit is not seeking any monetary damages. The legal action is simply to get the school board and the superintendent to give middle school parents the option to select remote or in-person learning.

Hudson Superintendent Phil Herman issued a statement to News 5 and Hudson parents in response to the lawsuit:

Today, the Hudson City School welcomed our K-8 students to a successful start of their first day back in an All-in instructional learning model. Hudson High School remains in the Hybrid model. The District will be vigilant moving forward by closely monitoring the data factors below and by providing up-to-date information to our Board of Education for future considerations regarding our learning instructional models.

As we move forward, we want you to be aware of a lawsuit that has been filed against the HCSD regarding the Hudson Ready Back to School plan.

On Friday, Oct. 16, a parent filed a complaint and Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prevent the Hudson City School District from exercising the All-In plan for students in grades 6-8, and from changing grades 9-12 to an all-in instructional model at any time during the 2020-2021 school year. The motion was filed by a single plaintiff on behalf of the plaintiff’s two minor children.

The plaintiff’s motion stems from the Board of Education’s decision to begin the All-in learning instructional model for K-8 students on Oct. 19.

The Hudson Board of Education has requested the opportunity to be heard prior to the Court’s ruling on the motion and understands the court will conduct a hearing prior to issuing any ruling that may impact the District’s students.

The change to the learning instructional model occurred after a thorough presentation from Superintendent Phil Herman to the Board of Education at its regularly scheduled board meeting on Oct. 12.

The District’s Option 1 Learning Instructional Model calls for flexibility to move between All-in, Hybrid, or Remote 2.0 based on the expanded guidance for schools since Aug. 10."

Hudson’s measures for consideration for model transitions include:

  • Summit County’s COVID-19 Risk Level and reasoning
  • Local/State/Federal guidance
  • Summit County confirmed cases
  • 44236 confirmed cases
  • Hudson City School District confirmed cases
  • Staff and Student Attendance rates
  • Area hospitalization rates and bed availability
  • COVID-19 case number of surrounding districts in various learning models.

"The Hudson City School District believes, when prudent, children need to be in school. Again, we will continue to implement all layers of safety for our students and staff, closely monitor all of our buildings, and evaluate the learning models for all students to achieve our overall goal of providing an excellent experience in as safe an environment as possible. We will continue to keep you informed about any changes that may impact our district, its operations, and our school families."

Hudson City Schools decided to continue the hybrid model in grades 9-12.