San Diego Court Rejects School District’s COVID Vaccine Requirement

A court in San Diego has ruled against school district’s COVID vaccine mandate.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The California 4th District Court of Appeal rejected San Diego Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students this week.
  • The court ignored the district’s defense of the mandate, as SDUSD claimed the vaccine was helping keep children “safe” and meeting “local needs.”
  • The district also argued that the requirement is not a mandate because it allows students to do independent study at home if they choose not to get the shot. 
  • “We doubt that students and their parents perceive a real choice. For some, independent study would likely be a step backwards,” the court wrote
SAN DIEGO COURT ON NOT GRANTING SCHOOL DISTRICT THE RIGHT TO REQUIRE COVID VACCINE TO STUDENTS:

“Given the scope of the state statutes, school districts have no remaining discretion in these matters,” the court wrote. “Similarly, local authorities have no decision-making authority regarding who can administer vaccines.”

BACKGROUND:
  • In September 2021, the district first decided to implement the COVID vaccine mandate, immediately requiring students ages 16 and up to get the shot in order to attend in-person learning and participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Parent group “Let Them Choose” sued the district in October 2021, arguing the decision needed to be made at a state level.
  • San Diego Unified is one of the largest districts in California to adopt such a mandate for students.