Advocacy group questions potential mandate
SAN DIEGO – A local advocacy group is challenging a potential COVID-19 vaccine mandate that will be discussed next week for eligible students and staff in the San Diego Unified School District.
The group called Let Them Choose, an offshoot of the Let Them Breathe mask choice advocacy initiative, sent a legal response to the district administration board on Thursday, arguing that the district lacks legal authority. to impose the vaccine and calls the vaccination “unnecessary” for students.
“There are provisions in state law that require any new vaccine to allow a personal creed exemption,” said Scott Davison, legal counsel for Let Them Choose and Let Them Breathe.
The state already mandates 10 vaccines for school-aged children, which are not eligible for personal belief exemptions. San Diego Unified says it is considering a COVID-19 vaccine mandate similar to what has been approved by Los Angeles Unified, allowing some exemptions but so these students are not allowed on campus.
“We will then make our program online available to these students, so we need to discuss our ability to recruit staff and meet the needs of students who would not come in person,” Richard Barrera, Chairman of the Board. of the district, told FOX 5 last week.
In its case, Let Them Choose says it will consider “all available options, including legal action” against San Diego Unified in an effort to prevent the district from implementing the warrant.
Davison says there are legal limits to such a mandate if the district chooses to impose one.
“It’s a catch-22,” he said. “You can’t force them to take the COVID vaccine, and neither can you force them to participate in an independent study if they refuse. So on both of those fronts, legally we would say San Diego Unified is wrong if they think otherwise.
The state is also considering making the vaccine mandatory for students of all ages, if they are eligible, as part of Dr. Mark Ghaly’s remarks during California’s COVID-19 action plan discussion on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, they would have the same limitations under state rule and law as a school district, namely that their state law requires them to provide a personal creed exemption for any new vaccine.” , Davison said.
San Diego’s unified board of directors will discuss the tenure at next Tuesday’s board meeting which will be held virtually. The meeting starts at 5 p.m.
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