Press Releases

Private, Christian School Urges Santa Cruz County, California to Follow State Guidelines Allowing the School to Reopen

August 26, 2020

News Release
For Immediate Release: 8.26.20
Contact: Lacey McNiel,
Direct: 972-941-4453

Private, Christian School Urges Santa Cruz County, California to Follow State Guidelines Allowing the School to Reopen
Local health officials threaten continued closure of schools, despite state guidelines providing for a safe reopening

Santa Cruz, CA—First Liberty Institute today sent a letter to Santa Cruz County, California health officials urging them to allow its client, St. Abraham’s Classical Christian Academy, to safely reopen next week. The State of California permits schools to open in counties that have been off the monitoring list for 14 days. Santa Cruz will have met this goal on Friday, as case rates continue to decline. However, the county has threatened to refuse to allow schools to open next week, even if state guidelines are met. The county currently allows schools to open as childcare centers, serving classes of 12 students provided no “in-person instruction” is provided.

You can read First Liberty’s letter here.

“The county allows schools like St. Abraham’s to safely open by providing childcare to small classes. Refusing to allow teachers to teach these students while they are safely in their classrooms is nonsensical,” said Stephanie Taub, Senior Counsel at First Liberty Institute.  “The experts at the CDC have concluded that in-person schooling is in the best interests of students. The County of Santa Cruz should not stand in the way of parents who simply want to follow the CDC’s evidence-based recommendations for their children.”

The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics both support reopening schools.

St. Abraham’s is a small, Christian school located in Aptos, California.

In its letter, First Liberty states, “If Santa Cruz refuses to follow state guidance, refusing to allow even small, private schools to open, this decision will not withstand strict scrutiny if a legal action is brought against the county. Allowing schools to open as childcare centers with identical class sizes and structures undermines any interest the county has in preventing adults from teaching students in person while they are safely on the school’s campuses.”


About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.


To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at or by calling 972-941-4453.

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