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UPDATED: Racine Health being sued over blanket school closing order

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

Posted at 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Brillion News

MADISON - Back in September, a lawsuit was filed against the Dane County-Madison joint health department (Public Health Madison & Dane County) for issuing an order forcing all public and private schools in the county to close.

The state Supreme Court issued an injunction to keep schools open while the case was being reviewed. The high court indicated that Madison-Dane probably had no legal authority to shut down all schools in the county.

Now there's a very similar case in Racine.

On November 12, the City of Racine issued a similar order to close all schools within its borders until January 15. School Choice Wisconsin and several other plaintiffs, including parents and private schools, have filed suit with the Supreme Court, against the City of Racine, seeking the same relief.

The Madison-Dane case is still pending before the Supreme Court.

"Once again, and in contravention of state statutes and constitutional guarantees, a local government bureaucrat has prohibited Wisconsin parents from sending their own children to receive in-person instruction in privately owned and operated schools, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as justification," the Racine suit begins.

It asks the high court to block the City of Racine shutdown and, when the Madison-Dane case is resolved, apply the same resolution to the Racine case.

Late Thursday, November 19, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin issued an order to Dottie-Kay Bowerson, Racine Public Health Officer, to file a written response to the suit by 4 p.m. on Monday, November 23.


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