Cornerstone Christian Church pastors sue San Antonio, Bexar Co. officials over in-person learning restrictions

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The lawsuit alleges constitutional violations and an attack on religious freedom.

SAN ANTONIO — Parents of children attending Cornerstone Christian Schools (CCS) have joined pastors John and Matthew Hagee in suing Bexar and San Antonio County officials.

The plaintiffs argue that Metro Health’s directive to restrict in-person learning at all public and private schools until after Labor Day is unconstitutional and violates religious freedoms.

The defendants include San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Metro Health Medical Director Dr. C. Junda Woo, and SAPD Chief William McManus.

The suit also names a compliance officer who visited Cornerstone Schools after an anonymous tip that he violated local COVID-19 restrictions.

Last week’s court filing says CCS parents would face hardship such as having to quit their jobs if they are unable to get their children back to school by Labor Day.

Nirenberg pointed out that the religious community has been proactive in protecting its followers. During Tuesday night’s coronavirus briefing, he criticized Attorney General Ken Paxton

“Every time it seems our attorney general appears on the scene during this pandemic, it creates confusion and chaos and leaves a wake, and that confusion and chaos is costing lives this fall,” Nirenberg said.

The City of San Antonio has worked with several private religious schools on safety measures and compliance efforts for the upcoming school year. But they have yet to contact Cornerstone Christian Schools on Tuesday.

San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia said there will be consequences for schools that don’t follow Metro Health.

“There is obviously a whole range of enforcement mechanisms. We don’t really want to use any of them, but we’ll apply the order if we need to.

Currently, Cornerstone Christian Schools plans to reopen on August 17.

On Facebook, Cornerstone Christian Schools posted: “We believe that parents should have the right to decide what is best for their family in the context of their children’s education. Thus, all CCS students will have the option of in-person or virtual schooling.

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