A judge ruled against the San Diego Unified School District on Monday, December 20, in a lawsuit challenging its vaccine mandate for students.
San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer said the district mandate, which does not allow exemptions for religious or personal beliefs, contradicts state law because the implementation of such mandates without exemptions can only be imposed by the state legislature.
Meyer also said that while students are required to receive certain vaccines in order to attend school in person, adding COVID-19 to the list of required vaccines without allowing personal belief exemptions is another area that doesn’t. falls under that state.
According to the district roadmap, unvaccinated students should participate in distance learning through independent study. As the district’s second semester begins on January 24, unvaccinated students would not be allowed to continue teaching in person unless they have an approved medical exemption.
Meyer said participation in an independent study program must be voluntary, although such a program is mandatory under the district roadmap.
Following further arguments Monday by school district attorneys and plaintiffs, the local parent group Let Them Breathe, Meyer upheld its interim ruling.
While the judge in that San Diego case ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, two groups are suing the United School District of Los Angeles for its mandate to immunize students – the California chapter of advocacy for children’s health and protection of children. children’s education rights – are still awaiting a judge to render a final decision in their case.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge last week dismissed the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction against LAUSD after determining that the school community would be more susceptible to the coronavirus with unvaccinated students on campus. Later that same day, the LAUSD school board voted to postpone its mandate until next fall.
Students 12 and older must get their COVID-19 snapshots as part of LA Unified’s mandate. Initially, officials said students were to be fully immunized by the start of the second semester in January.
But with around 25,000 or more students failing to provide proof of compliance last week, board members agreed – albeit reluctantly – to delay plans to transfer unvaccinated students to the district’s online independent study program in January. Elected officials expressed a desire to minimize disruption to student learning, both for unvaccinated students and for those who have been vaccinated but may lose teachers or see schedule changes as staff members shift. move to meet student demands.
Although the preliminary injunction motion was dismissed, the plaintiffs’ lawyers continue to move their case forward, as high school students who are not vaccinated are still prohibited from participating in a group, exercise or sport.
As for the San Diego case, it is not clear whether the school district intends to appeal the order, which comes on the day that students in the district were due to receive their second dose of vaccine in order to ” be considered fully immunized and capable of in-person instruction. before the start of the second semester.
The district’s warrant, which its board of trustees approved in September, was also challenged in a separate federal lawsuit filed by a Scripps Ranch High School student and her parents, who sought to block the warrant on religious grounds.
The request was dismissed by a federal judge in San Diego, and the decision was upheld by the 9th United States Court of Appeals. Lawyers for the student have since asked the United States Supreme Court to intervene in the case.