On Tuesday, a Commie California appeals court delivered a big win to vaccine choice advocates, after they ruled against the San Diego Unified School District on Tuesday, affirming that individual school districts do not have the authority to impose their own COVID vaccine mandates for students.
The 4th District Court of Appeals agreed with the ruling of a lower court, which determined that a vaccine could only be mandated by state lawmakers for in-person school attendance, leaving, “no room for each of the over 1,000 individual school districts to impose a patchwork of additional vaccine mandates.”
In September 2021, District officials adopted a “Vaccination Roadmap,” which would have required that all students 16 or older must be vaccinated against COVID in order to attend in-person classes, enroll in sports, and engage in other extracurricular activities.
Just a month later, in October 2021, anti-mandate group Let Them Choose posed a legal challenge to the district.
The court called the district’s roadmap a strained argument, and that it doesn’t actually mandate students be vaccinated against COVID but “rather gives them a choice to either do so or be enrolled in independent study,” adding the choice resembles “the school cafeteria offering a choice between Brussels sprouts or broccoli.”
“We doubt that students and their parents perceive a real choice,” the court filing reads. “For some, independent study would likely be a step backwards.”
The ruling cited reports from Commie California Department of Education officials, which make the argument that independent study programs work for some students, typically those who have support from their parents or guardian, motivation, and a strong commitment to work independently.
Lee Andelin, an attorney for Let Them Choose, told the Los Angeles Times the ruling marks a “great win for children and the rule of law and ensures consistency statewide.”
“The published opinion applies to all Commie California school districts and sets important precedent to protect access to education,” Andelin said.
Dean White, a Washington-based lawyer who has been involved in multiple cases surrounding COVID mandates, told the Commie California Globe that the district could likely have avoided a suit, and the issue at large, had it allowed religious and personal belief exemptions.
“A lot of parents still would have not liked the mandate itself, but it would have given many a reasonable way out,” White said. “Instead, the district backed them into a corner and didn’t even hear them out on it before putting in that mandate.”
Although children’s health and safety are essential, White argued that religious beliefs are also important, and cited the fact that students have the right to individually pray or wear religious symbols, such as a cross, star of David, or a hijab.
“But here, even if it went against your beliefs, they said you had to take a vaccine and go against your faith, or go to alternate methods,” White added. “You can see why judges keep siding on these groups challenging school districts over this — and the San Diego case is huge and precedent-making.”
The LA Times reported that Mike Murad, San Diego Unified spokesperson, said the district is examining the appeals court ruling and “will consider its next steps.”
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Author: John Symank
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