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Parents across WNY file lawsuits against local school districts to fully reopen schools

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Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 10:09:53-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Parents from different school districts across Western New York have filed lawsuits to fully reopen schools in their respective districts.

On March 22, HoganWillig announced a lawsuit was filed against Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Department of Health, the Grand Island Central School District, the district’s Superintendent and others on behalf of a group of parents.

According to the law firm, the suit argues that the decision to "singularly offer a 'hybrid' learning model for those students and families who wish to attend in-person is harmful to students, contributes to stress and severe mental health issues, and poses a significant threat to a child’s normal growth and development."

Tuesday, a group of Williamsville School District parents, on behalf of their children, filed a lawsuit against the Williamsville Central School District, Williamsville Board of Education, Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Education looking for five days of in-person learning to be offered every single week.

The lawsuit says it is not looking to "mandate" that all students attend in-person classes, but that an option should be provided by the Williamsville School District to "all students whose parents desire that their students receive such in-person education."

Also announced Tuesday, a group of Clarence Central School District parents filed a lawsuit against the Governor, The New York State Department of Health, Clarence Central School District, the district’s Superintendent and others.

HoganWillig is also representing the Clarence parents who say the restrictions implemented in September 2020 "are overkill and go above and beyond what the CDC now recommends, and what was recommended by NYSDOH in the fall." They are looking for the immediate and safe reopening of school buildings full-time for in-person learning.

Robby Dinero, owner of Athletes Unleashed, who filed a lawsuit against the state and Governor Cuomo last year filed a lawsuit Wednesday "on behalf of his minor children and on behalf of all other similarly situated" against the Orchard Park Central School District, Orchard Park Board of Education, Governor Cuomo, NYSDOH and NYSED.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction on the Orchard Park Central School District from continuing to impose the hybrid/remote learning model.

"This action is not brought to mandate that all students attend in-person classes during the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, this action merely seeks to require that Orchard Park provide an option for five days per week of in-person education to all students whose parents desire that their students receive such in-person education," the lawsuit says.