Fulnecky’s Restraining Order Request Against SPS Denied by Federal Court

Attorney Kristi Fulnecky’s request for a temporary restraining order against the Springfield Public School District’s re-entry plan has been denied by a federal judge.

Fulnecky filed for the TRO on behalf of three parents within the school district making a wide range of claims against the district’s plan, including claims that it violated the Missouri and U.S. Constitutions, Individuals with Disabilities Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act.

Springfield Public Schools’ attorney Ransom Ellis said in a press statement the district was “extremely pleased” by the court’s ruling and say it validated the District’s re-entry plan.

“During the development of the School Re-Entry Plan, the district received significant feedback from parents, staff, administrators, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and others,” Ellis said in the statement. “The extraordinary circumstances posed by COVID-19 require the district to continue to adapt service delivery to limit the risk of potential exposure. Today’s decision affirms these necessary actions. From the beginning, SPS has been clear that its plans are flexible and will be refined as the public health emergency continues to evolve. In every decision, SPS is driven by its unyielding commitment to serving the best interests of its 25,000 students and 3,500 staff members.”

In her press release after the ruling, Fulnecky expressed hope in her full case despite the loss on the restraining order.

“The SPS Re-Entry Plan has had a devastating affect on our local families, businesses, and economy,” Fulnecky wrote.  “Kids are being told to go to school certain days and are being treated unequally and the Plan is arbitrary.  While we are disappointed that the temporary restraining order was denied, this is the first step in the case and we remain hopeful the court will rule in our favor after this case is litigated.  In the meantime, we are very excited that SPS has recently added a 4 day option for select students and we will continue to fight for a 5 day, in class option for all of our kids who have a right to be in school.”

Fulnecky’s suit was filed on behalf of Stoney McCleery, Erica Sweeney, and Kristina Borishkevich.

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