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Southern California Parents Sue Gov. Newsom Over Restrictions On In-Person Schooling

MURRIETA (CBSLA) — Parents across Southern California are suing Governor Gavin Newsom over restrictions on in-person schooling, alleging that those restrictions have deprived children across the state of the opportunity for meaningful education.

"I personally think that any online instruction for elementary school-aged kids will have zero academic value, zero value in socialization," said Erica Sephton, a concerned parent, who now wonders how effective remote learning will be now that California has banned in-person education for most counties until new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations drop.

Sephton is one of a dozen Southern California parents now suing the state of California, alleging that it is violating federal law in this mandated transition from the classroom to the computer. They allege students will not receive equal access to education.

"Parents with wealth are able to go hire tutors," said Mark Meuser, an attorney with Dhillon Law Group, adding that parents without financial means will not have that luxury.

"Where they have to choose between, 'are they going to feed their family' or 'are they going to have to give up their job in order to monitor their young kids to ensure that their education is taken care of,' " Meuser said.

Meuser says the end goal of the lawsuit is to give the power to decide what's best for students in each community back to each school district.

Sephton says the data shows the youngest students have the least risk of contracting coronavirus, but the greatest risk of not learning their lessons online.

"This is going to be a long-term problem. Let's on the local level find solutions that work for every locality," she said.

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