The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ordered Public Health Madison & Dane County to respond to a legal petition questioning the legality of an order which required schools to educate students in grades three through 12 entirely online.
The Supreme Court gave Janel Heinrich, director of the public health agency, until Friday at 4 p.m. to file a response.
Emergency Order #9 went into effect Monday. It applied to all schools in Dane County, but the petition, filed with the state Supreme Court Tuesday, argues that Heinrich cannot apply such an order to private schools.
The petition also raises doubts that Heinrich can order any children to stay home from school.
The document asks the court to issue an injunction against public health's virtual mandate and block Heinrich from any other order that closes private schools or restricts private gatherings.
A Fitchburg mother, Sara Lindsey James, filed the petition. The document says she has two children enrolled at Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Madison.
The private school reopened with in-person classes Aug. 19 after working with public health, the petition says. Emergency Order #9 required the classrooms to close.