As the Covid-19 cases in Texas skyrocket due to the Delta variant, according to Rynders, parents are faced with an “impossible” choice: risk the health of their children by sending them to school, or risk a lack of education, by keeping them at home.
The 14 plaintiffs in the lawsuit are all children under the age of 12, an age group that is not yet eligible for vaccination. One of them is Juliana Ramirez, 8. Her mother, Julia Longoria, said Juliana begged to go back to her school in San Antonio. Juliana had panic attacks during the pandemic and her ADHD resulted in her increasingly disconnecting from online learning. But Juliana has asthma and Ms. Longoria is immunocompromised, which makes coronavirus infection particularly dangerous for both of them.
“We just couldn’t send her to school, but that just denied her an education,” Ms. Longoria said. “There really wasn’t a good option. Every option jeopardizes them in some way. “
Ms. Longoria said she was “afraid” for her daughter. She believes masks, along with other safety protocols, would help keep her daughter from getting sick.
Another plaintiff is Stephanie Paresky’s 8-year-old son, who suffers from spina bifida, epilepsy, ADHD and bronchiectasis, a chronic lung disease that makes him prone to infections.
During the virtual learning session, Ms. Paresky, a Richardson resident, said her son fell behind in reading and arithmetic because he was not receiving the same level of individual performance as he was before the pandemic. When the new school year started this month, she sent him back to his public school, which requires masks despite the governor’s orders. His doctors told her he couldn’t safely attend if masks were not worn.
Disability attorneys in Texas said they were confident the case would turn out positive. But Mr. Paxton, the attorney general, said he would continue to defend the ban on the governor’s masked mandate, saying that “any school district, public university, or local government official who decides to oppose the order will be brought to justice will”. . “