Providence Teachers Union's Bid to Halt in-Person Classes Denied

A judge rejected a request from teachers to suspend in-person instruction in Providence, Rhode Island

Cups of pencills

A Rhode Island judge on Friday rejected a request from the Providence Teachers Union to suspend in-person instruction at a city middle school over concerns about COVID-19.

Superior Court Judge Melissa Darigan denied the union's motion for a temporary restraining order and found no violation of law or state health protocol.

The union sued this month in an attempt to force the closure of Nathanael Greene Middle School, where dozens of staff members had been out because of virus concerns. At least three students and two staff members had tested positive, according to the suit, and other faculty members were quarantining.

In the suit, the union argued that students and staff members "have an incontrovertible right to work and learn in an environment that is safe" and that meets state and federal health guidelines.

The union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Providence Superintendent Harrison Peters said the judge found no wrongdoing by the district. "The judge also recognized the hardship that closing the school would impose on Providence families, specifically vulnerable populations, and urged PTU and the district to resolve any staff issues outside of the courtroom," Peters said in a statement.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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