CA Supreme Court Strikes Down School Vaccine Mandate as New Studies Question COVID Policies
The California Supreme Court struck down the San Diego Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Wednesday, meaning that districts statewide will also be barred from requiring the vaccine.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the state’s highest court upheld a November ruling by the appeals court that San Diego Unified does not have the authority to impose the vaccine requirement for students wanting to attend in-person classes or participate in extracurricular activities.
The appeals court had affirmed that by law only the state government can impose such a mandate, leaving “no room for each of the over 1,000 individual school districts to impose a patchwork of additional vaccine mandates.”
Let Them Choose, an initiative of the group Let Them Breathe (which is opposed to school mask mandates), sued San Diego Unified in October 2021 after the district announced its plans to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all students 16 and older.
Let Them Breathe founder Sharon McKeeman celebrated the state Supreme Court’s decision.
“This is the final finish line that we’ve crossed in protecting the rights of millions of California students against any unlawful COVID-19 vaccine mandates,” McKeeman said.
“We were able to keep San Diego Unified students in school, and now we’ve set precedent statewide, just making it clear that other school districts cannot exclude students that don’t have the COVID-19 vaccine, or put forward their own mandates,” she added.
In October 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccinations that all middle and high school students must receive, as soon as the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the shots for those age groups.
California was the first state in the nation to establish such a requirement.
However, in April 2022, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced the state’s decision to delay imposing the mandate until at least July 2023, according to CNBC.
EdSource reported earlier this month that “state leaders seem to be quietly closing the door on the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for schoolchildren.”
“The California Department of Public Health hasn’t made an announcement, but officials told EdSource that the end of the state’s Covid-19 state of emergency on Feb. 28 effectively ends its current plan to add Covid-19 vaccinations to the list of 10 vaccinations children are required to have to attend school in person,” the outlet reported.
EdSource noted that about one-third of California schoolchildren ages 5 to 11 have had their primary COVID shots, while two-thirds of those 12 to 17 have.
Peter Livingston, superintendent of Lucerne Valley Unified in San Bernardino County, told EdSource that almost all the district’s parents oppose the vaccine mandate.
“There is no way we could enforce it,” Livingston said. “I frankly wouldn’t. I wouldn’t leave that number of students at home. Judging by what we know now, it wouldn’t make sense. I wouldn’t enforce it.”
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor Dr. Marty Makary responded to the California Supreme Court ruling, tweeting Friday, “Glad to see courts realizing that public health policies were based on dogma over science.”
Over the last few weeks, meta-analysis studies from highly-respected researchers found that:
1. Masks has NO impact on the epidemic trajectory (Cochran)
2. Natural Immunity >> Vax Immunity (or ~the same) (Lancet)
3. Vax mandates did NOT increase vaccination rates (GMU)
— Marty Makary MD, MPH (@MartyMakary) February 24, 2023
He further wrote that “highly-respected researchers” over the last few weeks have released studies finding that wearing masks has “no impact on the epidemic trajectory,” that natural immunity is as good as or better than vaccinated immunity, and that vaccine mandates did not increase vaccination rates.
Fox News reported Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added the COVID-19 jab to its list of recommended vaccines for children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years.
Among children with #flu and COVID-19 coinfections who died last flu season, none had been vaccinated against flu. Help reduce your child’s risk by getting them up to date with their #flu and #COVID19 vaccinations. Learn more: https://t.co/EkUksV02Ef pic.twitter.com/AulII21cpc
— CDC (@CDCgov) December 15, 2022
Fox pointed out that the CDC list is not a mandate, but state and local officials often use it as guidance in creating their immunization requirements.