An Oklahoma County District Court delivered a huge, resounding victory today to a group of parents that sued the Edmond Public School District over their policy of quarantining only unvaccinated students in the even of exposure to COVID-19.
The policy, implemented shortly after the school year started, required students who had not received a vaccination against COVID-19 to be quarantined at their home if they were shown to have been exposed to the virus via contact tracing. The same policy, however, did not require vaccinated students to be quarantined following exposure.
Shortly after the implementation of the policy, a group of Edmond Public School parents, led by Stephanie Brady, sued the District under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution, as well as under SB 658.
While a previous unrelated court ruling has temporarily taken the teeth out to SB 658, the judge in this case delivered a blistering rebuke of the District’s policy in the temporary injunction ruling handed down today, finding that the policy likely violated the Equal Protection Clause.
In a stinging rebuke, the court found that, “the policy did, however, inflict tremendous harm on some of those students, pushing some to the brink of suicide, while causing others to fall significantly behind in their studies. The District’s policy is irrational and fails to balance any of the known dangers associated with quarantining children against the fear of asymptomatic spread among unvaccinated students.”
The ruling stated that the Plaintiff’s had shown, “that fully vaccinated children are capable of spreading the virus too,” despite the fact that those students were not required to quarantine according to the District’s policy.
This prompted the court to rule that, “the evidence presented demonstrates that isolating unvaccinated children provided no measurable benefit in combating the spread of COVID-19,” and hold that, “there was little or no evidence showing that quarantining unvaccinated children produced any demonstrated decrease in the transmission of COVID-19 within the District.”
The ruling further detailed the devastating trauma inflicted upon the special needs students that were subjected to this policy.
- One witness stated that their autistic child that “suffers severe behavioral problems, including anxiety, self-harm, and regression, and the quarantine caused her child to become extremely violent. Additionally, her child was quarantined for ten days, and at no time did any official from the District provide aid or assistance regarding her child’s behavioral issues.”
- Another witness with three children “who is disabled and has special needs, has been quarantined two times. While quarantined, Tisdale’ s child received a mere 160 minutes of instruction, compared to 1,200 minutes of in-person instruction normally received. Tisdale’s child’s special needs make remote learning especially difficult, and her child has fallen behind in studies. “
- A third witness reported,”that her child’s math grades dropped significantly while isolated in quarantine,” and that she, “was forced to teach school subjects to her child using YouTube videos.”
- A fourth witness stated, “the District’s quarantine grossly exacerbated her child’s underlying anxiety, which has led to suicidal tendencies.”
- A fifth witness stated that his child “experienced psychosomatic effects of isolation and lost the ability to absorb nutrients, losing weight while quarantined.”
- A sixth witness reported that her “child’s grades suffered, and the child exhibited signs of anxiety while quarantined.”
All of these accounts mirror previous reports by this news outlet and others about the devastating consequences of quarantines on minor children throughout the “pandemic.”
Fortunately for these Edmond parents, the court found that, “the combined impact of self-isolation and remote learning exacerbates their underlying special needs while significantly frustrating their ability to learn.”
“Because of these facts,” the ruling continued, “the Court finds the District’s policy has a disproportionate impact on students with special needs. Specifically, the evidence shows the District’s one-size-fits-all policy of removing unvaccinated students from the classroom grossly burdens students with special needs, imposing uniquely harsh consequences upon them.”