ABC News 4

Berkeley County Woman Sues School District Over Return to In-Person Classes

May 4, 2021

A Berkeley County woman is suing the school district she says because BCSD leadership refuses to offer in-person classroom instruction five days per week, despite the state legislature’s order requiring such.

Brigette Herbst says her children are stuck with virtual learning.

“After over a year of virtual learning, I thought we finally had the law on our side and a mandate to get our kids back in school,” said Herbst in a statement. “It is sad that I had to find lawyers and file a lawsuit to get the school district to follow state law and do what’s best for kids.”

“Berkeley County is violating state law and failing to serve all students who want to return to school,” said Daniel Suhr, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, which is representing Herbst. “The law is clear that all South Carolina students must have access to in-person learning. The school district is brazenly ignoring parents’ pleas for education and must be held accountable.”

The new state law Herbst and her lawyers are referring to is Bill S. 704, which was signed by Governor Henry McMaster on April 22nd. The new law does state, “every school district in the State must offer five-day, in-person classroom instruction to students no later than April 26, 2021.”

Berkeley County School District says it provided Herbst a document outlining the amount of students who were denied or waitlisted. In the document it states the following information:

Elementary: 7 students denied or waitlisted

Secondary: 119 students denied or waitlisted

Total: 126 students denied or waitlisted

Katie Orvin Tanner, the spokesperson for BCSD, said the district will not offer further comment on pending litigation.