Court rejects San Diego school district’s COVID immunization mandate

California’s 4th Circuit Court of Appeals this week ruled against requiring students at the San Diego Unified School District to have COVID-19 vaccinations.

On Tuesday, the appeals court agreed with a lower court’s ruling last year that the school district does not have the authority to establish its own mandate.

The court dismissed the district’s various defenses to its mandate, including that it was consistent with student safety responsibilities, that programs could be created to meet “local needs,” and that the mandate was not actually a mandate because it allows students to carry out independent study at home if they choose not to comply.

“We doubt that students and their parents perceive any real choice. For some, studying independently would likely be a step backwards,” she wrote.

WHITE HOUSE CLOSES REPORTER’S FAUCI QUESTION ON COVID ORIGINS: ‘I’M DONE’

SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 28: Anti-vaccination protesters stage a protest outside the San Diego Unified School District office to protest a mandatory vaccination mandate for students on September 28, 2021 in San Diego, California.
((Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images))

San Diego Unified is reviewing the appeals court ruling and “will be considering its next steps,” district spokesman Mike Murad said in an email to the Los Angeles Times.

In May, the district decided to suspend the mandate – which would have required students as young as 16 to immediately get the needles to attend school in person and participate in extracurricular activities – until at least July 2023.

San Diego Unified School District signage is seen on a Navistar International Corp school bus on Thursday, July 9, 2020.  seen at the San Diego Unified School District Transportation Department in San Diego, California, United States.

San Diego Unified School District signage is seen on a Navistar International Corp school bus on Thursday, July 9, 2020. seen at the San Diego Unified School District Transportation Department in San Diego, California, United States.
(Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

There were exceptions for medical reasons, but not because of personal beliefs.

CALIFORNIA HOMELESS WOMEN RETURN THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOUND IN BURNED DELIVERY TRUCKS TO OWNERS

The mandate was legally challenged by parent group Let Them Choose while they filed a lawsuit in October 2021.

Demonstrators demonstrate outside the San Diego Unified School District office on September 28, 2021 in San Diego, California, to protest a mandatory vaccination order for students.

Demonstrators demonstrate outside the San Diego Unified School District office on September 28, 2021 in San Diego, California, to protest a mandatory vaccination order for students.
(Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

The group argued that the decision to mandate vaccines must be made at the state level and must also include a “personal conviction exception” — unless state lawmakers acted to remove the exception.

The district first adopted its student immunization mandate in September 2021.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

It is one of several major school districts in California to announce such a mandate. Those with similar mandates include Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, and West Contra Costa Unified school districts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment