Arlington parent taking battle to open schools to the court

An Arlington Public Schools parent wants his daughter back in class so badly, he plans to file a lawsuit against the district.

"We started the fundraising today, and we’ve already gotten a lot of great contributions from fellow parents," Russell Laird told Fox 5 Wednesday, referring to a GoFundMe campaign launched in an effort to raise $10,000 that would be used to sue Arlington Public Schools. Laird writes on the page that the basis for the lawsuit is that "the Virginia constitution directs that ‘high quality education’ should be provided" to students.

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"What is being done now is a direct willful violation, disregard of that language of the constitution because it has been proven thoroughly that what is being offered now, distance learning, is very ineffective," he explained.

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It’s not the first local lawsuit dealing with COVID closures. Others in Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Anne Arundel counties have sought to reopen restaurants, for instance. But it’s school closures that have Laird ready to fight.

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"Children are not doing well in distance learning, and some parents might claim that they are and great for them if some children are, but that’s the exception by and large, not the rule," Laird said, adding that the lawsuit has been drafted, he has consulted with a lawyer, and his plan is to file the lawsuit as soon as the money is raised to do it.

Representatives of Arlington Public Schools didn’t immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.