Injunction request filed to U.S. Supreme Court in SDUSD vaccine mandate case

Coronavirus

The San Diego Unified School District’s Education Center at 4100 Normal St. in San Diego, Calif. as it appeared on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Attorneys for a Scripps Ranch High School student who sued to challenge the San Diego Unified School District’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate filed an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court Friday.

Following rulings from a San Diego federal judge and the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals which upheld the district’s mandate, attorneys for the student identified as Jill Doe in court documents are looking to the Supreme Court to block enforcement of the policy.

Doe and her parents sued to block the mandate on religious grounds.

The district’s mandate holds that students 16 years and older must receive their second dose by Dec. 20 or be required to take part in remote learning via independent study.

By the start of the district’s second semester on Jan. 24, unvaccinated students will not be allowed to continue with in-person instruction unless they have an approved medical exemption.

While the district’s plan allows for medical exemptions to the mandate, it does not permit religious or personal belief exemptions.

One of Doe’s attorneys, Paul Jonna, said the district’s exempting students on secular grounds, while prohibiting religious exemptions, amounts to discrimination.

“In stark contrast to this student’s effective expulsion from her school and sports team, the San Diego Unified School District exempts tens of thousands of this student’s classmates (and many of her teachers) from the same mandate for secular reasons,” Jonna said.

A ruling on the district’s mandate is also expected soon in a separate lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court by the local parents group Let Them Breathe, which is seeking a decision by the Dec. 20 second dose deadline.

San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer set a hearing for Dec. 20 on the matter, but was expected to issue a tentative ruling prior to the hearing date.

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