But on Friday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced he would join a private Christian school, Danville Christian Academy, in a lawsuit against Beshear, arguing the governor’s order is unconstitutional because it would prevent religious organizations from providing private education.
The lawsuit asks the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to hold an emergency hearing before Monday to issue a statewide temporary restraining order to prevent Beshear’s order from taking effect.
“The Governor has followed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and public health experts,” spokeswoman Crystal Staley said in a statement, “and many other Governors across the country are taking similar actions to protect the health and lives of children and families.”
“The attorney general should stop playing politics and instead help Kentuckians understand what it takes to defeat this virus,” Staley said.
School using ‘rigorous protocols’ for in-person learning, lawsuit says
Danville Christian Academy — a school of 234 students, per the lawsuit — has spent between $20,000 and $30,000 implementing “rigorous protocols” to safely provide in-person instruction, Cameron’s statement says.
Those protocols include two temperature checks when students enter the school and requiring masks when students enter, exit or move about the school, among others. The mask requirements don’t apply to pre-schoolers and students are allowed to remove their masks when seated at their desks.
Earlier this month, the school halted in-person instruction for ten days after a teacher and three students tested positive for Covid-19, the lawsuit says.
“If it is safe for individuals to gather in venues, shop in stores, and work in office environments,” Cameron asked in his statement, “why is it unsafe for Kentucky schools to continue in-person operations while applying the same safety protocols?”
The statement also pointed to comments recently made by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, who has said schools are among the safest places for children.
“For kids, one of the safest places they can be is to remain in school,” he said. Redfield stressed the importance of “following the data” to make decisions on closures, “and I’m here to say clearly the data strongly supports that K through 12 schools and institutes of higher learning really are not where we are having our challenges.”
In his own statement, Byron said, “The court should reject Governor Beshear’s order and follow the CDC and the law.”
CNN’s Maggie Fox contributed to this report.