Law firm says Gardner-Edgerton schools COVID policies are discriminatory

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GARDNER, Kan. — A local law firm says Gardner-Edgerton School District’s COVID-19 policies violate the law. It recently sent a cease and desist letter to the district over its policies.

Essentially these attorneys believe the district’s COVID-19 policy is discriminatory for kids who aren’t vaccinated or don’t wear masks. They also said school officials have been inconsistent with their policy based off of masks or vaccination status.

Emma Jones is a parent in the district and is all for the mask and COVID-19 policies the Gardner-Edgerton School District has in place.

“Our preschooler actually has two different special needs,” Jones said. “He is doing speech therapy, which can be hard with the mask and he also has a heart defect.”

She’s aware the policies have caused division among parents.

“It’s hard to hear from parents that they are not interested in protecting every child, especially when you have a child you work so hard to keep healthy,” she said.

Earlier this month the Kriegshauser Ney Law Group filed a cease and desist with the Gardner-Edgerton School District over its COVID-19 policies, specifically the use of the word quarantines.

Josh Ney with the law firm said “748 school officials and county offices have been relying on close contact letters which contain language that suggest quarantines were required but nearly suggested.”

The law group also said it believes 359 students were being targeted as a result of their mask and vaccination status.

The law firm said it has been communicating with the district. However, they’re taking their cease and desist order even further.

“Moved into a new phase of this correspondence, which is not merely raising the issues but now we’ve opened a Kora investigation — that’s an open records investigation into how these policies came to be and what correspondence exists between the school and county,” Ney said.

Parents for the district’s policy said they believe they are just following Johnson County Health Department orders.

“To hear that they are leveraging this against the board of education is kind of disheartening because I’m not sure what basis that can stand on,” Jones said.

The law firm said it’s not out to get rid of health mandates but rather wants to see them properly enforced.

FOX4 contacted the Gardner-Edgerton School District about the cease and desist letter and its policy again but the district has not responded at this time.

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