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Parents sue Park City School District, claim COVID-19 “Test to Stay” in schools unconstitutional

Spencer Moore, a medical assistant with University of Utah Health, checks the saliva level of a COVID-19 test at the Rice-Eccles Stadium testing site in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020.

PARK CITY, Utah — Two Park City parents are suing the Park City School District (PCSD) and Summit County Health Department officials over the COVID-19 “Test to Stay” program, claiming the requirement is unconstitutional. 

The lawsuit filed in the US District Court on Wednesday by Holly and Mark McClure, whose two children attend Treasure Mountain Junior High School and Park City High School, argues the program infringes on their children’s right to access in-person public education. 

School COVID-19 “Test to Stay” 

The “Test to Stay” policy is an order by the Utah Department of Health that says students must be tested for COVID-19 frequently in order to stay in the classroom. 

The testing program began in late January after COVID-19 outbreaks that caused officials to close the schools for nearly two weeks.

In order to attend class in person, students must take rapid antigen tests every two weeks.

Parents say program is “unconstitutional”

However, the lawsuit claims “permitting schools to implement mandatory COVID-19 testing as a condition of in-person learning is an unconstitutional invasion of rights.”

The lawsuit says parents have to choose unfairly between consenting to the test or learning remotely. They say there is no option to let healthy non-symptomatic children to opt-out the COVID-19 testing and also continue to attend in-person learning, which has better outcomes than remote learning, according to the suit.  

The school district and health department told the Park Record they are still reviewing the lawsuit before commenting.

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