LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Attorney General Daniel Cameron is joining Danville Christian Academy to halt the state’s ban on in-person classes.
The new ruling from Governor Andy Beshear requires all primary education to be done virtually until at least Jan. 4 for middle and high schools. Elementary schools not in red counties can continue classes in person starting Dec. 7.
Cameron has been involved in numerous lawsuits against Governor Andy Beshear’s orders during the pandemic.
The new lawsuit is calling for a temporary restraining order against the governor’s office.
The lawsuit says halting in-person instruction at religious schools violates the First Amendment as well as Kentucky’s equivalent constitutional guarantees and the Commonwealth’s Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.
“The Governor’s school-closure order prohibits religious organizations from educating children consistent with and according to their faith,” said Attorney General Cameron.
“The ability to provide and receive a private religious education is a core part of the freedoms protected by the First Amendment. Religiously affiliated schools that follow recommended social-distancing guidelines should be allowed to remain open. In August, we issued guidance stating that a closure of religious schools during the pandemic would risk violating the U.S. Constitution and state law. The Governor dismissed the guidance, and he has now forced us to bring a lawsuit to protect the constitutional rights of Kentuckians.”
Danville Christian Academy, the co-plaintiff in the lawsuit filed, has implemented protocols to safely provide in-person instruction, spending between $20,000 and $30,000 to operationalize a safety plan.
The Boyle County Health Department also noted that the school is “doing it right.”
“If it is safe for individuals to gather in venues, shop in stores, and work in office environments, why is it unsafe for Kentucky schools to continue in-person operations while applying the same safety protocols?” said Attorney General Cameron.
“The Governor’s orders are arbitrary and inconsistent when it comes to school closures in Kentucky. We urge the Governor to follow the legal opinions issued earlier this year by multiple federal judges and allow religious schools to continue in-person instruction while following recommended health guidelines.”