Lawsuit: Asks area schools to reopen 5 days a week, local districts cite the NYS 6 ft distancing requirement as major barrier

Education

(WIVB)– “I just want to go back to being a mom. I don’t want to be a teacher anymore, I don’t want to be an administrator. I just want to be a mom,” said Bonnie Nevans, a Grand Island mother of 2.

She along with several other parents from various districts across Western New York are taking their worries about their kids’ education to court. 

Hogan Willig is filing lawsuits against several local districts asking them to reopen for a full 5 days a week.  

These kids are really getting hurt and we’ve got to stop it. We can’t let this continue on. Our concern is if we don’t do something now the momentum will continue into summer and next fall,” said Corey J. Hogan, HoganWillig.

They plan to sue each district separately Hogan says paperwork will be filed against Grand Island on Monday. Grand Island administration declined to comment. 

“My daughter has asked to go 100 percent virtual and I said absolutely not. I want you to go to school. I want you to have a reason to get up, get dressed and get out of the house. She would sit in her bed and just be on screen for hours on end and it’s not healthy,” said Julie De’Angelo  Grand Island mother of 2 

Some of the other districts include East Aurora, Williamsville and Lew-Port. The Lew-Port superintendent says one major roadblock to reopening is the state’s 6-foot distancing requirement. 

“Currently, right now, under the guidance, in an effort not to jeopardize state aid and our board of education is fully on board with that,” said Paul J. Casseri district superintendent of Lew-Port. “We’re not prepared to do that unless the guidance shifts to 3 feet or anything less than 6 feet.”

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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