Father cites religious motives for opposing mandate to vaccinate LAUSD students

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The father of a first-year student at Granada Hills Charter has filed a lawsuit against the school, the Los Angeles Unified School District and Acting Superintendent Megan Reilly on behalf of his daughter, alleging the COVID vaccination mandate -19 of the district discriminates against the girl on religious grounds. land.

The Los Angeles Superior Court motion filed on Friday asks a judge to allow the unvaccinated girl to continue her in-person learning and order the district to refrain from discriminating against students who do not get vaccinated because of of their religious beliefs.

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A representative for LAUSD said on Tuesday that the district has yet to be seized of the lawsuit.

GHC is the largest public charter school in the country with more than 5,800 students. The school has been recognized by the California Department of Education as a Distinguished School and received a Gold Ribbon Award from the department.

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Under an order from the LAUSD Education Council of September 9, effective January 10, students aged 12 and older who do not have proof of COVID-19 vaccination will not be allowed on the school campuses and will be referred to the district independent study program at Cité des Anges, unless waived or conditional admissions. As with other student vaccinations, state law does not recognize exemptions for religious or personal beliefs.

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For reasons of conscience based on religious beliefs, the petitioner’s father will not allow his children to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He says his beliefs are based in part on his belief that two of the four vaccines contain aborted stem cells.

“It is a sin in which I do not want to participate,” the applicant’s father reportedly said in court documents. “As a pro-life individual, I cannot participate in the vaccine with a pure conscience because the spirit of God dwells in me.”

The applicant’s father is forced to choose between losing his family’s religious beliefs whether he allows his daughter to be vaccinated on the one hand or to see the daughter lose a coveted educational opportunity during her formative years. on the other hand, according to court documents.

“Her daughter hasn’t done anything wrong,” the petition says. “(Her father) did nothing wrong. Yet, as a religious minority, they are treated at a disadvantage by government officials because of government policy.”

While teachers, staff and administrators of LAUSD all have the opportunity to exercise their religious rights by requesting a religious exemption from the employee vaccination order, the same right is denied to the petitioner, the petition says.

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