Seeking to reopen, Libertas school appeals to 6th Circuit

Ottawa County

Libertas Christian School near Hudsonville. (Oct. 23, 2020)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Hudsonville-area Christian school has filed a federal appeal asking the court to allow it to resume operations after it was shut down by the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.

The health department shut down Libertas Christian School about two weeks ago, saying the school had refused to give up class lists for contact tracing after two teachers tested positive for the virus. The school, in turn, has challenged orders from state officials over the coronavirus, citing First Amendment freedom of religion and assembly protections.

Earlier this week, a federal judge denied Libertas’ request for a temporary restraining order that would have allowed its students to return to class. The judge also directed the case to a state-level court to rule on the enforceability of the state epidemic orders.

In an appeal filed Friday, the school’s attorney argued the lower court was wrong to deny the injunction and asked the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to grant it.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services outbreak records updated Monday show five cases have been linked to Libertas, with both staff and students affected.

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