KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Nine religious schools, including one in the Tri-State, have filed briefs in support of Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s lawsuit against Governor Andy Beasher’s order banning in-person instruction.
All Kentucky schools moved to virtual learning Monday.
The litigation argues that his order closing Kentucky’s schools violates both the First Amendment of the Constitution and the state’s Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.
Heritage Christian School in Owensboro is one of the schools supporting this lawsuit. A hearing on the matter was held Monday afternoon in Frankfort.
Governor Andy Beshear mandated all schools, including private religious schools to temporarily close as state leaders work to control the coronavirus spread.
“We’re not treating any school differently. We’re treating them all the same,” explained Beshear. “In other words, we are not discriminating against any form of school. We just know this is absolutely necessary at the moment.”
He says it’s not safe sending students and teachers to school when COVID-19 cases are increasing.
“We weren’t rash when it reached 7% or even 8%. We still wanted to allow that fundamental choice if we thought it was safe,” stated Governor Beshear. “Then we reached 9%, exponential growth, 10,000 kids over two weeks being quarantined. It is not safe. And you’re asking teachers to go into that environment at a time when their likelihood for getting COVID is going up and up and up.”
Attorney General Daniel Cameron argues that school closure not only violates state law, but also the first amendment. Although not formally named in the litigation, Henderson’s Holy Name Catholic School on Facebook expressed a desire to reopen its school.
More than 1,000 parents, a portion of them from the Tri-State, are also backing the attorney general.
“I know they are better off for their education in in-person class. I know their mental health is better in in-person. I’ve sat holding my kids when they are upset, and they don’t understand. But I also know what happens if we don’t take the steps that it takes to defeat this virus,” stated Governor Beshear.
14 News reached out to about half a dozen parents on the list backing the attorney general but received no replies.