Fresno County private school ordered to pay $15,000 for defying court order to halt in-person teaching amid pandemic

California
Immanuel Schools in Reedley is seen in an undated Google Maps street view photo.

Immanuel Schools in Reedley is seen in an undated Google Maps street view photo.

A California private school has been ordered to pay $15,000 for defying a judge’s order to close classrooms and stop in-person teaching.

Tuesday’s decision in Fresno County Superior Court ends a nearly three-month legal battle between Immanuel Schools, a private K-12 Christian school in Reedley, and county and state officials.

It may be the first judgment of its kind against a California school for violating health orders aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.

The K-12 Christian school in California’s Central Valley, with about 600 students, reopened its campus on Aug. 13.

It argued that parents should decide if their children attend school and claimed students had achieved herd immunity.

The judge said the school operating poses “irreparable harm” to the community during the pandemic.

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