Fresno Health Department threatens restraining order if Immanuel Schools doesn’t close


REEDLEY, California (KSEE) — The Fresno Health Department threatened to take a Reedley School to the Superior Court if they continue to hold in-person classes.

Health Department Director David Pomaville said the Department is in the process of filing paperwork that would force a closure, but said it won’t happen until at least next week.

“Our next step is for the superior court to consider a restraining order of injunction,” said Pomaville.

“Our children our choice,” shouted one parent to our station as he dropped off his child.

Those were the only four words besides “no comment” that any parent, student, or staff have said about physically opening for the 2020 school year.

Immanuel Schools officials would not interview but did release a statement that said parents should be able to make a decision on whether or not their children learn in-person or virtually and called the closure unconstitutional.

“I think these choices affect all of us,” said a neighbor who did not want to be named. “I think we need to do what is best for all of us, which is to stay home and stay safe.”

Immanuel Schools is private and faith-based. Around 600 students attend the four-campus school.

Most students did not wear masks or social distance on the second day, similar to the first. However, the staff did check the student’s temperatures before they walked through the front door.

According to the Small Business Administration data, Immanuel Schools received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on April 28th for an amount between $350,000 to $1 million.

The school was founded by the Mennonite Brethren Church. The Reedley Chapter received a PPP loan for an amount between $150,000 -$350,000.

The school could face a fine of $1,000 for each day it defies the state and local order.

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