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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

West Ada Sickout Lawsuit Dismissed

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Five parents who sued the West Ada School District’s teachers’ union over last month’s sickout protest have agreed to dismiss the issue in court.

The parents’ lawsuit, organized by the conservative lobbying organization, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, sought to block any future strike from canceling school.

Hundreds of West Ada teachers called out sick in October after the district pushed ahead with requiring in-person classes, despite a spike in coronavirus cases that pushed the Treasure Valley into the red category, according to Central District Health.

The district’s reopening plan outlined that it would either operate remotely during periods in the red category, or on an alternating schedule to promote physical distancing. District officials acknowledged, though, that some classrooms cannot accommodate such distancing and they’ve had trouble forcing all teachers and staff to wear masks as required.

In an affidavit, Eric Thies, head of the West Ada Education Association, said he had no intention to call for any form of an illegal public sector strike in the future.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation called it a victory for students and their families, even though a judge had declined to bar the union from holding any further sickouts, according to Idaho Education News, which first reported this story. Another hearing was set for Monday.

The West Ada Education Association and the state chapter of the union dismissed the suit as a “publicity stunt” used as a fundraising tool for the foundation’s “anti-public school agenda.”

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.
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