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McArthur v. Brabrand

Did we achieve our litigation objective? Yes. After months of litigation, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) came to its senses and reversed its arbitrary, irrational, and discriminatory COVID-19 quarantine policies.

Court Outcome: The district court dismissed the case as moot once FCPS changed its policies.

Larger Impact: This was one of several cases brought by NCLA challenging the arbitrary and capricious decision of governments and agencies to issue mandates that ignore the long-settled science of natural immunity. It was unpopular to oppose these policies at the time, but history has vindicated NCLA’s pro-science position.

Summary: A second-grade student at Sunrise Valley Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia, was arbitrarily and unlawfully prevented from attending school during part of the Fall 2021 semester, in violation of her federal and state Constitutional rights to Equal Protection and Due Process, as well as her right to receive an education under the Virginia State Constitution. Because of the way the irrational policy worked, the student could have very well had to miss additional school going forward for 10 days at a time, unless the rule changed.

M.M. (whose name has been redacted to preserve her anonymity) contracted COVID-19 in late October 2021 and completed a two-week home quarantine. Less than three weeks later, she was identified as a “potential close contact” of a student or staff member who tested positive for the virus. Under Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) policy, developed and enforced by the Fairfax County Health Department, because she had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 she was forced to quarantine again.

According to the policy, as long as she remained unvaccinated, she would be forced to quarantine any time she came into contact with an individual at the school who tested positive, compromising her ability to receive an uninterrupted education and putting her at a significant disadvantage compared to vaccinated children, who were exempt from quarantining. M.M. suffered mental and emotional distress, as well as learning loss, as a result of being excluded from in-person school. The New Civil Liberties Alliance filed a complaint asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to vacate FCPS’s unconstitutional, arbitary, irrational, and discriminatory quarantine policy.

Jenin Younes
Litigation Counsel
John J. Vecchione
Senior Litigation Counsel
NCLA FILINGS

Memorandum Opinion of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division

July 7, 2022 | Read More

Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendants Brabrand and Pekarsky’s Motion to Dismiss

March 8, 2022 | Read More

Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendant Ayensu’s Motion to Dismiss

March 7, 2022 | Read More

Brief in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction

February 1, 2022 | Read More

Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction

February 1, 2022 | Read More

PRESS RELEASES

NCLA Challenges COVID Quarantine Rule Keeping Child with Natural Immunity Out of School

December 23, 2021 | Read More

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