by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A group of parents in northeastern Indiana has reached their breaking point with government officials turning deaf ears to their children’s suffering under irrational and scientifically unfounded COVID rules with no clear end point.
After spending months trying to work with local officials to get their kids’ lives “back to normal,” only to have their school board allegedly break its own rules to mandate masks and quarantines of the healthy barely two weeks into this school year, four families filed a lawsuit against Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), his Indiana State Department of Health and its commissioner, their county health commissioner, Northwest Allen County Schools and its superintendent, and their local school board and several of its members.
The lawsuit alleges these officials have broken state laws and the state and national constitutions by quarantine “searches and seizures” that violate the Fourth Amendment and repeatedly restricting Hoosier children’s constitutionally guaranteed right to a public education based on unproven allegations that the children are COVID-infectious.
“It used to be that if you missed 10 days of school you were truant. Now kids are missing 30-40 days of school”a year because of extreme quarantine rules, said Andrew Frisinger, a father and plaintiff in the lawsuit.
In recent weeks, the district has sent more than 1 in 10 students home to quarantine based on the state’s “close contact” standard. Nearly all of those children were healthy. The lawsuit seeks precise data about how many children forced to quarantine were actually sick, as the district has not released that information publicly.
Walking through school halls in the district where he grew up, met his wife, enrolls his kids, and has spent years volunteering as a coach for myriad sports, “felt like walking into a funeral” under COVID regulations, Frisinger said: “Lunchrooms are quiet, hallways are quiet. Teachers who should be teaching are now focused on masks. Five years ago, we would have said, ‘This is not America.’”