Court Blocks San Diego Unified Student COVID-Vaccine Mandate – NBC 7 San Diego
On Sunday, a federal appeals court granted an injunction that temporarily suspends the San Diego Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students – just a day before the mandate deadline.
Lawyers for a 16-year-old student-athlete at Scripps Ranch High School and her parents filed for the emergency injunction last week as they appealed her religious rights lawsuit.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said the emergency injunction will only be in effect as long as the SDUSD’s vaccination mandate includes exemptions for pregnant students, but will be terminated if that option is removed.
Unvaccinated students 16 years of age or older will be required to participate in distance learning through independent study. The district plan allows for medical warrant exemptions, but no religious or personal belief exemptions.
A Scripps Ranch student-athlete and her parents are suing the San Diego United School District for religious discrimination over her COVID-19 vaccination mandate. NBC 7’s Rory Devine has the story.
Court of Appeal Judge Sandra Ikuta agreed with Judges Mark Bennett and Marsha Berzon’s ruling, but disagreed with stopping the injunction after pregnancy option was removed , stating that it would “keep the injunction in effect until the San Diego Unified School District stops treating students (not just pregnant students) seeking to evade the secular vaccination mandate more favorably as students seeking relief for religious reasons, as any unvaccinated student attending in-person classes poses the same risk to the school district’s interest in ensuring a safe school environment. ”
Representatives for SDUSD did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Paul Jonna, the family attorney and attorney for the Thomas More Society, praised the court ruling.
“Although the case is still in its early stages, this is an important victory. SDUSD should quickly revise its policy to include religious exemptions for students. Otherwise, we are confident that we will fully defend the rights of our customers, whether in the Ninth Circuit or in the United States Supreme Court, if necessary, ”said a statement.
The family’s main complaint is that the COVID-19 vaccines “were all made or tested using aborted fetal cells,” attorney Paul Jonna said in a statement. “Our customers are firmly pro-life and refuse to benefit from vaccines that have been made in this way, which they consider immoral – as do many other people of faith.”
The district’s mandate, according to Jonna, was built on “a clearly unconstitutional framework” and presents “significant constitutional problems”.
The lawsuit also argues that the district has exemptions for others, including young people in foster care, homeless children, migrant and military families, or those in special education.
It is also said that by refusing the vaccine, the student will have to stop playing sports and will lose any sports scholarships.
Read the full trial here.
The emergency injunction was granted the day before the student would need to be immunized for the first time in order to be considered fully immunized by the district’s December 20 deadline, otherwise she could not. participate in in-person training from January 2022..