Owensboro Catholic Schools in Kentucky expressed their disappointment regarding a court’s decision to uphold Gov. Andy Beshear’s order to close all schools, including Catholic schools, in response to the coronavirus.
Gov. Beshear ordered a stop to in-person classes at all schools in Kentucky Nov. 18 due to the coronavirus. Leaders of religious schools in Kentucky appealed the order, and on Sunday, Nov. 29, a three-member panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued a stay of a federal judge’s order from last week. As a result, Catholic schools in Owensboro are back to no in-person instruction, TristateHomepage.com reports.
Despite their disappointment, OCS released a statement saying it will follow what the governor and court say.
“We are obviously disappointed because this decision contradicts the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our own school data,” read the statement. The legal case will continue in the courts, but in the meantime Catholic schools in the “red zone” in Kentucky cannot provide in-person instruction. “We will be carefully monitoring the legal proceedings and continue our discussions with our legal counsel and the Catholic Conference of KY to determine our future actions,” the statement reads.
Along with Owensboro Catholic, Heritage Christian Schools also expressed their disappointment in the court’s decision.
Owensboro Catholic families are doing all they can to try and give their children the ability to return to in-person schooling as soon as possible. Until then though, as of November 30, K-3 students will begin targeted instruction, per material emailed to parents, and grades 4-12 will have virtual instruction.
Under Gov. Beshear’s new restrictions, middle and high schools must continue with remote instruction until January. Elementary schools may reopen on Dec. 7 if the county in which they’re located isn’t in a “red zone,” the highest category for COVID-19 cases.