New plaintiffs join suit seeking in-person classes in Upper Arlington

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UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – The lawsuit aimed at forcing Upper Arlington schools to offer in-person classes to begin the school year picked up 11 new plaintiffs Tuesday, as well as the support of a Buckeye football legend.

The lawsuit was originally filed on behalf of a Hastings Middle School student whose family claims loss of in-person special education services will cause irreparable harm.

Now 11 other students have joined the lawsuit, high school, middle school, and elementary school students.

Former Buckeye Chris Spielman, whose youngest daughter is an Upper Arlington senior, is lending his support to the effort.

“I understand if teachers or students or families are concerned, then they should have the right to do online classes,” Spielman said. “The thing I am advocating for is after doing the risk assessment for my family, I think that family should have the right, if they so choose, to do in-person classes.”

Upper Arlington said it simply is not safe to start the school year with in-person classes, and Franklin County Public Health recommended all districts here start the school year remotely.

The district is asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit, among other things, saying it’s premature because plans could change if the virus levels change.

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