The Bishop Unified School District, through its insurance provider representative, clarified some issues raised by a parents group that recently reached a settlement with the district regarding the district’s COVID policies.
A settlement was recently reached between the group of about a dozen parents and the district, which included a payment of $400,000 and staff training. A lengthy press release from the parents this week listed a number of complaint surrounding COVID policies that included violations of students’ civil rights, discrimination against students who did not comply with district COVID policies regarding masking and vaccinations.
The group and the Self-Insured Schools of California, which provides coverage to the district, agreed on the settlement on April 27.
Anthony DeMaria, legal counsel for the Self-Insured Schools of California, the district’s liability insurance provider, issued a statement on behalf of the district on Friday to address the matter further.
DeMaria stated the district was required by law to follow the COVID and health orders of the county health office per state law.
“In fact, it is a crime for the district administrators to refuse to follow such county health officer orders under that government code (Government Code section 8665),” DeMaria stated. “The district was also strongly advised that refusal to follow county health officer orders would violate CalOSHA requirements and jeopardize liability coverage.”
DeMaria stated the district is “confident that the steps it took to enforce COVID orders thrust upon it were legally justified and required. “
“In fact, the district was contacted numerous times by other schools as a model for how to comply with Public Health requirements and still be a leader in the state for providing in-seat instruction during the pandemic; including creating safe places for students to stay on site even during weeks of mask protests,” he stated.
For more on this story, see the May 13 edition of The Inyo Register.