Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., for Children'sHealthDefense | In a precedent-setting decision for the State of California, a state appeals court last week ruled against the San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students.
The decision by California’s 4th District Court of Appeal upheld a December 2021 decision by a lower state court, which found school districts cannot impose vaccine mandates of their own — on top of the vaccines required by the state — as a precondition for classroom attendance.
The lawsuit was filed in October 2021 by the Let Them Choose initiative of Let Them Breathe, a California-based nonprofit advocacy group, challenging SDUSD’s mandate.
According to Let Them Choose, this was the first COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the U.S. to be struck down in a final ruling, and the new decision upholding the original court ruling “sets precedent for all California school districts.”
Remarking on the decision, Mary Holland, president and general counsel of Children’s Health Defense (CHD), told The Defender:
“It is great news that the California appellate court affirmed that vaccine mandates under California law must come from the state, not the school district.
“This is especially welcome news as the injection in question, the COVID-19 shot, is neither safe nor effective, nor even a vaccine in any normal sense as it fails to prevent infection and transmission. Kudos to ICAN [Informed Consent Action Network] and its lawyers for a critical win.”
Court: ‘Independent study not a real choice’
The 4th District Court’s 19-page decision rejected multiple arguments by the SDUSD, including the school district’s claim that its mandate was aligned with its responsibility to keep students healthy and safe and that school districts can develop policies to “meet local needs.”
According to the ruling, the SDUSD mandate “unlawfully seeks to usurp [the] authority” of the California state legislature in enacting vaccine requirements for school children in the state.
According to the decision:
“The issue here is whether a school district may require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition for both (1) attending in-person class, and (2) participating in extracurricular activities. The superior court determined there was a ‘statewide standard for school vaccination,’ leaving ‘no room for each of the over 1,000 individual school districts to impose a patchwork of additional vaccine mandates.’
“On independent review, we reach the same conclusion and affirm the judgment. … In sum … we reject the District’s primary contention that the Legislature left the door open for local school districts to require student vaccination for COVID-19 as a condition to attending in-person class.”
Read the rest here.
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