Lawsuit Against Stillwater Public Schools Dismissed After District Welcomed Students Back To Class
A lawsuit filed by a group of concerned Stillwater Public Schools’ parents was quietly dismissed at the end of March.
The suit - filed last September - had run into a number of delays. By the time it was dismissed, the district had pivoted to full, five day a week instruction.
In the interim, parents in the city had remained vocal critics. One mother - who was not part of the suit - even appeared in a December video criticizing district leadership with Gov. Kevin Stitt.
But ultimately vaccine availability and a gradual decline in cases in Payne County meant students could come back to school anyway.
“We’ve been pleased to see significant decreases in community cases of COVID-19 over the past few weeks and look forward to welcoming students back to our schools,” Superintendent Marc Moore wrote to parents in late March.
The six parents of Stillwater Public Schools students sued their childrens’ district over its distance learning policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The suit alleged the district’s policies to deal with the pandemic - shifting to virtual instruction when there are more than 50 new covid cases per 100,000 people in Payne County - was over the top.
The district issued a statement to StateImpact about the case’s conclusion.
“The recent dismissal with prejudice of the case against the school district regarding in person instruction allows us to better focus our attention and resources on our educational mission,” district spokesman Barry Fuxa wrote in an email. “We are ready to work with all families in our community to move forward, past the tensions and disagreements that the pandemic has brought, and to focus on the academic and personal growth of every student.”
A lawsuit that is dismissed “with prejudice” can’t be brought back to court.
According to a district dashboard 129 of Stillwater’s 926 staff members have tested positive for the virus. Additionally, 256 of its roughly 5,600 students have tested positive as well.
A message left with the parents’ attorney was not immediately returned Thursday.
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