A federal judge has ruled in favor of Springfield Public Schools in a lawsuit brought by parents who claimed their rights were being violated by not opening schools five days a week during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attorney Kristi Fulnecky had filed the lawsuit in late July 2020, and amended the suit in August. The suit was filed because the parents involved took issue with the school’s plan to have two days a week in-person learning with three days of virtual learning. The suit demanded that the court issue an injunction that allowed students to attend in-person classes five days a week.
“Today’s decision in federal court unequivocally affirms the district’s efforts during this public health emergency,” SPS Superintendent John Jungmann said in a statement. “It is especially fitting that today’s announcement comes on the final day of the 2020-2021 school year, which has been extraordinarily difficult for everyone. Thanks to a remarkable team of 3,500 employees, 23,500 resilient students, and an incredibly supportive community. SPS was able to rise to the occasion during remarkable circumstances, delivering high-quality education and other essential services to all those it serves. We celebrate the court’s ruling as a compelling victory that brings this long and unnecessary legal action to its final conclusion.”
The district eventually allowed some students to do four days a week in-person classes in February before going to a full five-day a week plan in March.
The court dismissed the claims Thursday “without prejudice.” Similar lawsuits filed by attorney Fulnecky over the Springfield and Branson’s ordinances requiring masking were also dismissed.
Here is the court’s decision:SPS.DC_.210527-Doc-45.-Court-Order.Dismissal-05.27.21