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Isolation learning violates state constitution

Current isolation learning is grossly inadequate compared with classroom instruction, and it likely violates the Connecticut Constitution: “There shall always be free public elementary and secondary schools in the state….” Article Eighth, Sec. 1. I have four sons and they only get a couple hours of online instruction per day, compared with about six hours of classroom instruction when schools were open.

Per the state Supreme Court, Connecticut must provide: “(1) minimally adequate physical facilities and classrooms … to permit children to learn, (2) minimally adequate instrumentalities of learning such as desks …, (3) minimally adequate teaching….” CCJEF Inc. v. Rell, 327 Conn. 650, 698 (2018). These standards are being violated since the state is not providing any classrooms, libraries, or athletic facilities nor adequate hours of teaching or extracurricular activities. Children are in social isolation from classmates, teachers, administrators, counselors and coaches.

According to the CDC, 200 children under 15 died this year from the flu, compared to only 15 deaths from COVID-19. If risk of childhood death is the reason for isolation learning, then we might as well never open the schools again.

The curve was flattened. Hospitals are not going to be overrun. It is time for all Connecticut children get an adequate education.

Scott Perry

Killingworth

 

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