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Judge dismisses petition to recall Seattle School Board

April 20, 2021 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — A King County Superior Court judge on Monday dismissed a petition to recall the Seattle School Board after a group of parents accused the board of failing to adequately plan for students’ return to classes.

After hearing from the three petitioners and an attorney representing the School Board on Friday, Judge Mafé Rajul dismissed the recall petition, the Seattle Times reported.

“The Court is understanding and sympathetic of the parents’ concerns with children in the Seattle Public School District being subjected to remote learning … However, the Court is limited in its role as a gatekeeper,” Rajul said.

The 11 charges were filed in March by Seattle Public Schools parents and community members Emily Cherkin, Jennifer Crow and Beverely Goodman. They accused six board members of failing to plan for schools reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Rajul said the decision to close schools is a “discretionary act and members of a school board cannot be recalled unless they arbitrarily or unreasonably exercised such discretion.” The School Board, she decided, did not make decisions surrounding school closures in an arbitrary or unreasonable manner.

The plaintiffs also accused the board of failed oversight resulting in reduced outdoor play space; lack of protection of student data and privacy during remote learning; mishandling several issues at Northgate Elementary School and Rainier Beach High School; and failing to consult the Duwamish Tribe before voting on two projects, among other charges.

Cherkin said she, Crow and Goodman may appeal the decision.