School Has 80 People Exposed to COVID After Parent Knowingly Sends Infected Child to Class

A Nevada school saw about 80 people exposed to COVID-19 after a parent knowingly sent an infected child to class, the Associated Press reported.

Both the child and the parent tested positive for the novel virus two days before the student attended class. According to the Washoe County School District, the parent "refused to communicate" with the school and health officials.

The number of students, faculty and staff sent into quarantine was not released by the school district. However, the Washoe County School District's said in a statement that the children in quarantine will be expected to continue their schooling through virtual learning.

The school district's policy says that unvaccinated children are required to quarantine for five days and obtain a negative COVID test before they can return to in-person learning. Vaccinated students can return if they give proof of the shot to a school nurse and aren't exhibiting virus symptoms.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Child With COVID Sent to School
A child that tested positive for COVID-19 was sent to school by their parent and exposed 80 people to the virus. Kellie Goodall teaches an online eighth grade English class from her empty classroom at Walter Johnson Junior High School on the first day of distance learning for the Clark County School District amid the spread of the coronavirus on August 24, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As the Washoe County School District placed kids into quarantine, attorneys in Las Vegas filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status for claims that the constitutional rights of thousands of parents and children at area schools are being violated due to a school district's mask mandate.

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have been ripped away from law-abiding citizens and their children," the attorneys declared in the complaint filed Thursday against Gov. Steve Sisolak, state Attorney General Aaron Ford and the Clark County School District.

It seeks an immediate court order to invalidate a directive the governor enacted last week that generally requires K-12 students and school employees in the Las Vegas and Reno areas to wear masks on buses and inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

Plaintiffs Monica Branch-Noto and Tiffany Paulson are identified as the guardians of three students at Henderson schools. The children's names are not provided in the 27-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

"It's preposterous that these kids have to go to school hindered," said attorney Sigal Chattah, a Republican candidate for Ford's job who has also sued Sisolak over vaccination plans and coronavirus-related restrictions he imposed on churches.

"We're trying to get the kids unmasked," she said.

A spokesman for Ford declined comment. Representatives for the governor and the school district did not immediately respond to email messages.

Masks in schools have become a flashpoint in areas where students are returning to in-person classroom instruction after more than a year of school closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Schools opened Monday in and around Las Vegas, where more than 300,000 students and about 18,000 teachers make the Clark County district the fifth-largest in the nation.

The lawsuit in Nevada was filed the same day parents and the Oklahoma State Medical Association filed a lawsuit asking a judge there to overturn a state law banning mask requirements in public schools.

In Kentucky, Republican lawmakers including the attorney general are challenging a school mask mandate that Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear issued Tuesday.

The Nevada complaint calls rules enacted in March 2020 to stem the spread of COVID-19 "onerous, burdensome and unconstitutional" after 17 months, and claims they are inflicting "massive emotional distress on students and parents."

It declares the governor's order infringes on "the fundamental right of parents to make child rearing decisions, including arbitrarily forcing children to wear masks in school."

"Children have a one in a million risk of dying from COVID-19," the lawsuit says, pointing to an online article by a Johns Hopkins University surgeon and professor who calls the case for vaccinating children "not compelling right now."

Child With COVID Sent to School
A federal lawsuit was drawn as residents in Nevada believe their constitutional rights are being violated by the mask mandate. Protesters rally against a mask mandate, many showing support for US President Donald Trump, in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 22, 2020. Bridget Bennett/Getty Images