Judge orders Fresno County private school to close after defying pandemic rules

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 Fresno County judge has ordered classrooms closed at a private school in California’s Central Valley that has defied state and local health orders aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

The ruling Tuesday marked a legal victory for Fresno County health officials, who had unsuccessfully ordered Immanuel Schools last month to stop in-person instruction.

The K-12 Christian school, 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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