The Kentucky Religious School opposed a state order ordering the closure of personal learning amid a rise in Covid-19 cases, despite the court recently confirming the mandate.
Courses at the Maryville Independent Christian Hope Academy reportedly remained in session even Tuesday after the U.S. Court of Appeals confirmed the closure of schools by Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky. The pastor of Maryville’s Baptist Church, Dr. Jack Roberts, who is also the school’s administrator, told WHC, a subsidiary of NBC, that the governor’s assignments are “not really laws”.
“We all know you can trust anything you want, but the legislature has to make laws,” Roberts told the station.
Roberts had previously thwarted Beshear’s instruction to limit mass gatherings at the beginning of the pandemic by holding services on Easter Sunday. The pastor also sued Beshear for the order, claiming he was violating the constitutional rights of his congregation, but according to WHAS, a federal judge rejected the lockout request in April.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued an order that prevented the Governor of New York from executing a similar order restricting mass gatherings at religious institutions.
The Maryville Independent Christian Academy of Hope was among several schools the Kentucky attorney general of Cameshon launched against Beshear to end personal learning. The U.S. Sixth District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Beshear on Sunday, stating in its opinion that the order is “neutral and universally applicable” to all K-12 schools.
“The contours of the order in question are not related to religion here either, and they cannot be credibly read to include even hostility to religion,” the opinion said.
Cameron submitted an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
Beshear said the opinion in its statement on the decision on Sunday recognized the health risks to “Kentucky children, educators and families”.
“Almost every county is in the red zone, nearly 10,000 students and staff have been quarantined in the last two weeks, our hospitals are under overload, and we have lost nearly 1,900 Kentucky associates, including health workers, a teacher and a 15-year-old student,” Beshear said. “In order to save the lives of more people and defeat the virus, we need to do everything for them.”
The governor’s office did not respond immediately to a comment about the continuing personal education of the Maryville School.
Roberts said WHAS on Tuesday that he intends to continue his personal education, even if the case is lost in the Supreme Court.
“We must account to the supreme God of heaven for how we do things,” Roberts said. “It’s our belief why we’re still here and why we’re still open.”
Roberts did not respond immediately to NBC News’s remark on Thursday.
Kentucky reported the sixth highest day on Wednesday for the new Covid-19 cases, with a record high in coronavirus deaths. By Thursday afternoon, the state had more than 186,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and nearly 1,943 deaths.