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Stillwater Schools

Parents sue Stillwater (Okla.) district to force return to full-time in-person instruction

Sept. 30, 2020
Students are able to attend in-person classes on alternating days, but a group of parents wants students to be taught in person every day

A group of parents in Stillwater, Okla., has filed a lawsuit to force the Stillwater school district to end distance learning for students who enrolled for traditional, face-to-face instruction.

The Stillwater News-Press reports that the parents want the court to order the district to reopen all facilities and provide students with traditional access.

Stillwater students have returned to the classroom every other day on an alternating schedule. The district plans to continue the altenating schedule at least through Oct. 24, unless new infections rise in the county and force the school system to resume full-tme distance learning.

If the county is at a lower alert level after Oct. 24, the plan is to return to traditional in-person instruction.

Parents and students have gathered at the district’s administration building multiple times in September to speak at School Board meetings and to protest distance learning and the uncertainty surrounding sports and extracurricular activities.”

Plaintiffs’ attorney Robert Gifford says the goal of the lawsuit is getting kids back in school is the goal of the lawsuit.

He acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic has made things difficult and called Stillwater’s alternating schedule a step in the right direction.

But it’s hard for children and their families when different towns are getting different types of education, Gifford says. Some parents have lost faith and felt desperate enough to take legal action.

Families have been stressed as they struggled to meet competing demands. Parents who had the resources made other arrangements for their children, but not all families had those same options.

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