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Judge rules against Williamsville, Orchard Park parents over return to 5 days a week in-person learning

State Supreme Court Judge Emilio Colaiacovo also ordered New York state to produce evidence as to why the schools should not be reopened.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A State Supreme Court judge has ruled against parents in two of Erie County's biggest school districts who are trying to get their kids back in school five days a week.

Judge Emilio Colaiacovo denied a preliminary injunction sought by parents in the Williamsville and Orchard Park school districts. Williamsville Central Schools argued the transmission rate is too high in Erie County to bring back everyone. Yet,  the district brought everyone from the elementary school back on Monday, something other Western New York districts plans to do as well.

In his ruling Wednesday, the judge also called out the state to produce evidence that schools should not be reopened. 

"Healthy children, unlike adults, cannot sit at home captivated by silence or screens", said Judge Colaiacovo. Their mental and physical well-being requires more. When that is endangered, Courts, such as these, or elsewhere, must do all that they can to protect them, even if this requires eschewing the broad powers the State always asserts in times of "crisis".

The judge set another hearing on the matter for May 7.