Judge Rules Three Christian Schools in Oregon Cannot Open for In-Person Classes

A federal judge in Oregon has ruled against three Christian schools seeking to re-open for in-person learning this fall, arguing that the state’s restrictions on in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic are constitutional.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman ruled in favor of Gov. Kate Brown’s June executive order last Thursday and denied a motion by Horizon Christian School, McMinnville Christian Academy and Life Christian School.

“In my view the religious institutions here in K-through-12 aren’t being treated in any way differently than public K-through-12 institutions,” U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman ruled, according to Oregon Live.

John Kaempf, an attorney representing the three schools, argued that the schools want to be “treated the same as universities and daycare centers,” which are allowed to open for in-person instruction.

The lawsuit claims that Brown’s order violates the First Amendment rights of the institutions.

“Zoom learning is not what Christian learning is about,” Kaempf contended in court, according to the Associated Press.  “My clients are called to communal in person faith-based learning.”

Oregon attorney Marc Abrams argued that the restrictions in place were necessary due to the risk to public health caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar