Children's Health Defense Report: Grassroots Backlash Helps Defeat D.C. Schools COVID Vaccine Mandate
Grassroots Backlash Helps Defeat D.C. Schools COVID Vaccine Mandate, CHD Attorney Says
The District of Columbia announced the school vaccine mandate in July 2022 shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for ages 12-15, but low compliance, grassroots pushback and threats of more lawsuits may have led to its cancellation before implementation.
The District of Columbia last week ended its plan to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for children to attend school this upcoming academic year.
In announcing the decision, the Council of the District of Columbia noted that no state has mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for schoolchildren, that the public health emergency has ended and that not attending school has detrimental effects for children.
Commenting on the news, Kim Mack Rosenberg, acting general counsel for Children’s Health Defense (CHD), told The Defender, “While I believe that mandates — whether in D.C. or elsewhere — were legally problematic from the outset, the council’s decision to now remove the mandate is an important step to remedy a mandate that should never have been imposed.”
“However, parents need to be vigilant in the future to protect their children from similar attempts to control access to education and the classroom by essentially forcing children to take unwanted medical treatments.
“Education is essential to children’s success, and to condition access to education, especially by mandating an experimental product is, simply put, unacceptable.”
Rolf Hazlehurst, senior staff attorney, told The Defender the mandate was rescinded as an outcome of extensive grassroots organizing by families and legal work by CHD.
“CHD is proud to have worked closely with a grassroots movement of parents, including the plaintiffs in Booth V. Bowser, who stood up for the children of DC against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“If the COVID-19 vaccine mandate had not been repealed, by the start of the school year, CHD and parents were prepared to challenge the mandate in a court of law.”
In March 2022, CHD prevailed in a lawsuit against the D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, the D.C. Department of Health (D.C. Health) and D.C. public schools after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order granting a preliminary injunction prohibiting the schools from enforcing the D.C. Minor Consent for Vaccination Amendment Act of 2020 — a law that would have allowed children as young as 11 to be vaccinated without the knowledge or consent of their parents.
CHD: D.C. should be ‘prepared to defend this unconstitutional policy in court’
Read more at The Defender from Children's Health Defense.
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