(by Debbie L. Sklar | Times of San Diego) – A judge ruled against the San Diego Unified School District Monday in a lawsuit challenging its vaccine mandate for students.
San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer said the district’s mandate, which does not permit religious or personal belief exemptions, contradicts state law, because only the state legislature has the authority to implement such mandates without exemptions.
Meyer also ruled that while students are required to receive some vaccinations in order to attend in-person school, adding COVID-19 to the list of required vaccinations without allowing personal belief exemptions is another exercise of authority that lies only with the state.
Under the district’s roadmap, unvaccinated students must take part in remote learning via independent study. By the start of the district’s second semester on Jan. 24, unvaccinated students would not be allowed to continue with in-person instruction unless they have an approved medical exemption.
Meyer said that attendance in an independent study program must be voluntary, while such a program would be mandatory under the district’s roadmap.
The lawsuit which spurred Meyer’s ruling was filed by local parents group Let Them Choose, an offshoot of Let Them Breathe, which has challenged mask and vaccine mandates at the state and local level. The group argued in its suit that the district did not have the authority to impose a mandate.
It is unclear whether the school district intends to appeal the order, which comes on the day district students were required to receive their second vaccine dose in order to be considered fully vaccinated and able to attend in-person instruction by the start of the second semester. Read Full Article >