Mom Sues School District After Her Son Contracts Covid-19 from a Classmate
These days, as a parent, sending your child to school is hard. While cases of COVID-19 have dwindled in the last few months, it can still send anxiety shooting up your spine the second your child come home from school with a cough, sneeze, sore throat or fever. You just pray it isn’t the C word!
Many schools have taken great lengths to keep their students safe—for example, enforcing masks and social distancing as much as possible. However, when one school got a bit lax on their requirements, a student contracted the virus from another student, and the mom is now suing the school district.
The mom is Shannon Jensen, and she recently filed the lawsuit in federal court against the Waukesha School District and the school board in Wisconsin. Her goal is to get an injunction ordering the district to comply with the CDC’s recommendations regarding the virus.
The school district had gotten rid of its mask mandate in May after case numbers began to go down. Students were still allowed to wear masks, but they were no longer required. They also removed a number of other measures they previously had in place, to many parents’ dismay.
In September, one of Jensen’s son’s classmates came to their Rose Glen Elementary School with symptoms of COVID-19 and wasn’t required to wear a mask, so he didn’t. Jensen’s son was wearing a mask himself, but since he was sitting next to the student, he wound up testing positive for the virus a few days later. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Jensen then passed it onto his two brothers.
The lawsuit Shannon is pursuing states that the school district threw her son and the rest of the students “…into the COVID-19 ‘snake pit’ by its ‘reckless refusal to implement reasonable COVID-19 mitigation measures.'”
Because the lawsuit requests Class Action status, it could potentially extend the ruling to other school districts across Wisconsin who are following suit, which would be helpful for parents struggling with similar issues.
“There are a lot of parents out there who aren’t able to bring a suit within their own school district but are frustrated with their school boards listening, you know, to just the loudest people in the room, and not necessarily taking the recommendation of the experts into consideration at all,” said lawyer Frederick Melms, who represents Jensen’s case.
So what’s the district have to say about all of this? School Board President Joseph Como declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Do you think elementary schools should require masks? What would you do if you were in Jensen’s position?