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Friday, May 7, 2021

Parents Want Children in School:
Court Orders School Districts Back to Full Time Instruction by May 17; Video report included under 'read more'

The effort to reopen two Erie County school districts, took another turn today. State Supreme Court Justice Emilio Colaiacovo ordered Williamsville and Orchard Park to offer full-time instruction for middle and high schools starting May 17. This, however, is dependent upon the positive COVID-19 data which must be at or around 100 cases per 100,000 people in order for that to happen.

Asked earlier whether Williamsville or Orchard Park would be appealing the decision, Williamsville said, "We are ready and prepared to welcome more students back into our buildings." Orchard Park, at at the time of this writing, did not respond to the question.

On April 28, Judge Colaiacovo ruled against parents of students in those school districts who were attempting to get their kids back in school five days a week. However, in that ruling, he also called out the state to produce evidence that schools should not be reopened.

"Healthy children, unlike adults, cannot sit at home captivated by silence or screens," Judge Colaiacovo said at the time. "Their mental and physical well-being requires more. When that is endangered, courts, such as these, or elsewhere, must do all that they can to protect them, even if this requires eschewing the broad powers the state always asserts in times of crisis."

On April 27, Justice Colaiacovo asked the attorney representing the parents a specific set of questions about a study out of Massachusetts. Specifically, the judge asked how the study would relate to the circumstances in Erie County and the relevance of following the guidelines considering other parts of the state were opening.

RELATED VIDEO from Channel 2, Buffalo ("2 on your side"):

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