In September 2021, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) issued a vaccine mandate requiring all students who were 12 years and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for enrollment and continued attendance in school. The mandate had then been suspended between April 2022 and July 2023.
Nonetheless, the father of a student filed suit alleging that: (i) LAUSD was not authorized to establish a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for its students since such a power is reserved for the Legislature or the California Department of Public Health; and (ii) the district’s vaccine requirement violated the state Education Code.
On 5 July 2022, the Superior Court of California granted the plaintiffs’ petition. According to the Court, the vaccine requirement was in conflict with state law since the applicable legislation did not allow the school district to enact vaccine mandates which – like the one at hand – are not subject to exemption based on personal beliefs. Given the LAUSD’s lack of authority to adopt the resolution under dispute, the Court’s ruling should apply erga omnes, the Court said.