San Diego Unified School District faces lawsuit over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

San Diego Unified
Posted at 12:27 PM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 15:27:20-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A group filed a lawsuit against the San Diego Unified School District on Tuesday, calling the district’s recently-announced COVID-19 vaccine mandate “unlawful” and a violation of “students’ right to in-person education.”

The lawsuit against SD Unified was filed in San Diego Superior Court by Let Them Choose, an initiative of the group Let Them Breathe.

Sharon McKeeman, founder of Let Them Choose, said in a statement: “The thousands of families in our Let Them Choose community hold a strong conviction that the decision on whether or not to vaccinate youth with this novel COVID-19 vaccine should be decided by individual families in consultation with their trusted medical providers. An overwhelming number of families will not consider getting their child vaccinated without seeing long-term studies on this vaccine’s efficacy and safety, especially since healthy young people are incredibly resilient to this virus.”

On Sept. 28, San Diego Unified’s school board voted unanimously in favor of implementing a vaccine requirement for all district staff and eligible students.

Under the mandate, students 16 years of age and older are required to have received their first vaccine dose by Nov. 29 and their second dose by Dec. 20.

District workers are required to be fully vaccinated, unless they have a medical or religious exemption, by Dec. 20.

According to the complaint, Let Them Choose stated the district’s vaccine mandate “conflicts with state law, which does not permit local school boards to promulgate new vaccination requirements in addition to those already required by state law.”

The group is hoping for a restraining order “to keep SDUSD from enforcing their timeline of requiring all students 16 and older to be fully vaccinated by December 20, 2021. Let Them Choose has filed this lawsuit with broad support from the over 20,000 families involved in their community who have already raised over $30,000 towards the legal effort.”

McKeeman added, “I became involved in positive advocacy and effective legal action in order to return my children to in-person education during the COVID-19 school closures. That mission continued as I founded Let Them Breathe and launched our Let Them Choose initiative to protect students’ constitutional right to in-person education and ensure that no student is discriminated against due to their ability, race, socio-economic background, faith, vaccination status or any other inherent characteristic.”