As an aside, several adults and children gathered at the press-conference, albeit, without face-masks and without maintaining social distancing. Several teachers’ unions across the state have resisted the urge to re-open school with face-to-face instruction, as it poses a health risk for teachers and their families. This position may have been advanced by the refusal of several attendees failing to conform to mask guidelines.
Hypothetically, if the state were to determine that the in-person shutdown was unconstitutional, the battle will likely not stop there. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities for the teachers to threaten strikes or walk-outs, in the event that students, their families, or the schools are unable to ensure adequate health precautions.
The interesting “twist” on these petitions is that they are not demanded schools be reopened. Rather, they are requesting that the students and their families are given the opportunity to decide how education is conducted. Although the Court may agree with this approach, the ruling would be immaterial if the educators refuse to teach due to their own safety and well-being.
This office will continue to monitor any developments. In the meantime, if you are an educator and feel uneasy or unsafe about going back, it is important that you seek legal advice to discuss your rights and remedies. The Law Offices of Neil J. Cacali can help.