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Libertas Christian School challenging cease and desist order; hearing Wednesday

Libertas Christian School Website

After the Ottawa County Department of Public Health shut down Libertas Christian for failing to follow coronavirus protocols, officials at the Hudsonville based Christian school say it plans to fight the order.

Last week, the Department issued a final cease-and-desist order to Libertas Christian School in Hudsonville. Health officials say there is an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 there, while school officials refuse to wear masks or engage in social distancing, while not requiring students and staff to adhere to the health and safety mandates issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, including quarantining—

Ian Northon is an attorney for the Libertas Classical Association that represents the parents of the students. He says, that’s not true: rather, the school was shut down because the students were singing unmasked in their chapel services, a religious activity that is protected by the Bill of Rights, and therefore, the Ottawa County Health Department had no right to shut the school down.

“It’s shameful and cowardly, they are pushing some agenda here that we don’t know about, but it is an abuse of power,” Northon said. “All of this retaliatory conduct came after we filed our lawsuit, to protect their right to the association and right to religious liberty under the 1st Amendment. So it is disappointing.“

Ottawa County Public Health officials say the department is not commenting on the cease and exist order at this time. A court hearing is set for Wednesday to hear arguments from both sides. For now, school officials and students are not allowed in the building, and the school year is on hold.

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