A judge said Wednesday he was inclined to deny a petition from two groups of parents for an injunction against the Los Angeles Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for high school students, but he took the case after a loud hearing in which he spoke twice admonished to submit the crowd against outbreaks.
In a crowded courtroom, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said he would investigate the matter further. His preliminary decision was to reject the injunction requested by the California Chapter of Children’s Health Defense and a second group, Protection of the Educational Rights of Kids, which the petition filed on October 13th. Around 930 LAUSD parents are members of PERK and another 540 of CHD-CA, according to the court files of the two non-profit groups.
Opponents of the LAUSD vaccination mandate also demonstrated in front of the entrance to the courthouse on Grand Avenue.
The mandate provides that students aged 12 and over receive a COVID-19 vaccine at certain times in the fall semester in order to continue their personal education. The petition claims that even without the need for a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to face-to-face learning in August, the LAUSD students have not seen a large number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations or deaths.
“LAUSD has the constitutional mandate to provide a safe and peaceful campus for its students and staff,” the judge wrote in his preliminary ruling.
But attorneys Nicole Pearson and Jessica Barsotti, on behalf of the petitioners, told the judge that the September 9 LAUSD vaccine resolution violates the authority of the State Department of Public Health, which they believe has the power to decide whether to add another will vaccine on the 10 already required for California students.
Beckloff drew grumbling from the largely anti-mandate audience when he described the vaccination policy as a “campus community health and safety measure” that does not deny any student an education. Later, many in the crowd shouted, “What?” as Sue Ann Salmon Evans, a district attorney, said the district “does not prescribe this vaccine” and also said that no students would be prevented from receiving an education.
According to Evans, school districts have responsibilities that go beyond education, including providing a safe environment for children. By choosing not to have their children vaccinated, parents are choosing distance learning instead of in-person study, she said.
But Pearson said the inadequacy of distance learning “is why we’re here,” adding that if school districts are allowed to decide which vaccines their students should take, nothing will stop them from getting students to take Adderall – used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – to make them more focused in class or to allow students to control birth.
Amanda Spinola, a mother of a freshman at Grant High School, said in a statement that she and her family are against her son JS receiving the coronavirus vaccine shots.
“We have personal beliefs against this shot and he’s a healthy, active child who isn’t at risk,” said Spinola. “He is at greater risk of developing side effects from the injection. Any potential benefit to JS is far outweighed.” due to the known risks. “
Spinola said her son “looked concerned and was in tears” when he was briefed on the Education Department’s vaccine mandate.
“He was scared, sad and hurt,” said Spinola. “He immediately asked why the board was doing this, whether he would be kicked off the football team, whether he could go back to school and whether he would die if he got the shot.”
In October, Judge Amy Hogue denied the petitioners’ request for an injunction.
At Tuesday’s school council meeting, officials said around 34,000 students are at risk of violating the district’s mandate and may not be able to return to school in January.
The board also unanimously voted to lay off 496 employees for failing to comply with the district’s separate COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees.