Court blocks San Diego student vaccine mandate

by Joshua Perry

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Sunday against the San Diego Unified School District’s vaccine mandate. The decision comes just one day before the district’s deadline for students to receive their first dose.

According to the written testimony of the judges, as long as opt-outs are given to “pregnant” students, the mandate cannot stand.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys representing a 16-year-old Scripps Ranch High School student-athlete after the student and the parent’s of the student objected to the vaccine mandate because of religious beliefs. The San Diego Unified School District voted in September to pass a stipulation that requires employees and students who are 16 years or older to be ‘fully vaccinated’ by Dec. 20. Per the rule, students that do not comply for any reason will have to attend their learning facility from a remote access.

Student vaccine mandates aren’t unique to the SDUSD, however not every elected official shares the same sentiment. In contrast, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, signed in November, legislation that shields employees and students from the unlawful mandates. It’s the United States of America not the United School Boards,” said DeSantis at a press conference in Brandon, Fla.

DeSantis’ Protect Florida Jobs legislative initiative prohibits educational institutions from requiring masks or vaccinations, and empowers parents to sue school districts that defy the orders.

As expected, SDUSD is taking litigation measures to overturn the court’s vaccine injunction. Mark Bresee, an attorney representing SDUSD expects the 9th Circuit to drop its decision in favor of the vaccine mandate. Bresee’s optimism stems from the school district’s motion to remove the option for pregnant staff and students to deny the vaccine mandate without consequences. The pregnancy clause is a key factor in the court’s conclusion due to its discriminatory nature against other’s that refuse the vaccine on the merit of other personal matters.

The pronouncement by the appeals court provides temporary relief for students and parents from the edicts of the school district until a more permanent resolution is decreed.

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