Nancy Laflin: Target 7 Reporter,Koat.com: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.
Family Suing State Over Covid Rules
“I do think they’re being treated unfairly,” said Deena Buchanan, New Mexico Attorney
The dad has a seventh grade daughter at the Albuquerque Academy. He is now taking on the state of New Mexico with a lawsuit.
“I do think they’re being treated unfairly,” said Deena Buchanan. She is the attorney of the family suing the state. The lawsuit claims what the state is doing when it comes to COVID health guidelines and students at private schools isn’t fair.
“This concern isn’t about the money or the tuition. His concern is about his daughter’s emotional and social well-being. The fact that she’s not getting the kind of experience he signed her up for,” Buchanan said.
She says the issue is that the state is limiting attendance at private schools to 25% of the classroom capacity. Public school guidelines say 50%. Buchanan says with so few students in the classroom, the Academy is sticking to online learning only.
“From everything that we were told, the Academy was ready willing and able to bring all of its students back as long as it had a 50% capacity in the classrooms,” she said.
It’s a case that even has the Department of Justice weighing in. The DOJ sided with the dad saying parents have a fundamental right to educate their kids in private school.
A spokeswoman for the governor declined an interview but sent a statement that says in part, private schools have more flexibility than public schools. Because the State Public Education Department has little oversight over private schools, they are treating them like all other businesses – 25% capacity.