San Francisco sued its own school district on Wednesday as it tries to speed a planned return to in-person public school classes. City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed the lawsuit, with support from Democrat Mayor London Breed, against the San Francisco Board of Education and the city’s school district.
Article by Zachary Stieber originally published at The Epoch Times.
In an online news conference, Herrera said education officials have failed to formulate a plan to get the city’s 54,000 students back to in-person learning as quickly as possible.
The officials have put forth an ambiguous and amounts to “a plan to make a plan,” he told reporters, giving them “an ‘F.’”
“The city is suing for a single cause of action at this point, violation of a ministerial duty, which covers when a government official or in this case, officials fail to perform their official duties. … Getting kids back in school needs to be the only priority of school district leadership,” he added, appearing to reference officials’ effort to rename schools.
The 55-page suit asks the court to order officials to put into place a viable plan to reopen schools safely.
Schools in San Francisco have been allowed to reopen since September 2020 and the overwhelming majority of private and parochial schools have welcomed students back since then. With almost 16,000 students attending classes again, fewer than five cases of in-school transmission of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus have been reported. The virus causes COVID-19.
The San Francisco Board of Education didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Breed acknowledged worries from teachers about the safety of teaching again in person but noted that the city has spent $15 million investing in mitigation measures. “The legitimate concerns of some of our teachers can’t stand in the way of starting to get some of our kids back in the classroom,” she told reporters.
Data clearly show that students, especially low-income students, have suffered from online learning and health issues are piling up, including eating disorders and depression, the mayor said.
A recent school board meeting in which the San Francisco Board of Education took up a proposal to rename 44 schools allegedly named after problematic people—one is Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)—drew criticism from the public, who repeatedly wondered why the focus wasn’t on reopening schools. Officials defended themselves, saying a previous meeting was entirely about the reopening issue.
In a Jan. 25 presentation, school officials said they’ve obtained 100 percent of the personal protective equipment they need to safely reopen and assessed the working condition of 15,000 windows across 1,600-plus classrooms.
The sites will be ready for students between March 22 and April 19, officials said.
Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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