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Christian school sues Oregon over religious discrimination

A small Christian school in Oregon is suing the state government arguing it is being discriminated against, a violation of the US Constitution. The small school based in Hermiston has 51 students.

Government officials initially told Hermiston Christian School it could reopen for in person classes this fall, if it abided by health regulations associated with COVID prevention. The school agreed.

CBN explains what happened next:

In good faith, the school spent money to prepare for its fall reopening in compliance with those guidelines. It reassured parents that the school would reopen, and it retained its teachers and staff. Then, the state told school administrators they must remain closed until their county meets the necessary health protocols under the state’s COVID guidelines. 

Rather than uniformly apply the same standards to all schools in the affected counties, the government exempted some small public schools, allowing them to move forward with opening as planned. 

East reports attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a complaint on behalf of the Christian school in federal court in Pendleton on Oct. 16.  The complaint alleges the governor violated the school’s constitutional rights by forcing it to remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

READ: Christian School Sues as Oregon Reopens Small Public Schools but Forces Private Schools to Close

In its new release, Alliance Defending Freedom added that the leaders of the Christian school could face jail time and/or fines if they chose to reopen the school:

Recently, students attending public school in the Ukiah School District were able to go back to school in person. Meanwhile, Hermiston Christian School must remain closed or its leadership faces jail time and fines—even though it is in the same county as Ukiah School District and serves a similar number of students, performs the same types of activities, operates in an even larger physical environment, and abides by the same health and safety protocols. 

READ: Oregon Closes Small Christian Schools But Allows Small Public Schools to Open

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