Los Angeles charter school students have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the vaccine mandate that is preventing the unvaccinated from being able to attend their classes.
The New West Charter students are being represented by Let Them Breathe, a non-profit launched “in response to parents’ concerns about the effects of school closures and educational restrictions such as masking on students emotional, social, and academic well being,” according to their website.
Unvax students at New West Charter LA segregated behind barriers & not allowed to attend class. They asked for chairs, were denied & are sitting on the pavement, not allowed to even use restroom. LAPD is on site but not intervening. Litigation from Let Them Choose already pending pic.twitter.com/hgCI97HYv1
— LET THEM BREATHE (@letthem_breathe) January 18, 2022
“Female students were segregated, harassed, and threatened with suspension just for trying to participate in their classes, and we will prove in court that this is unjust and unlawful,” Sharon McKeeman, founder of Let Them Breathe, told Fox News.
The lawsuit alleges that the students feel “segregated” and “discriminated against.”
The complaint also alleges that the school is violating state law by mandating the vaccine, not allowing personal belief exemptions, and segregating and denying unvaccinated students their education — in violation of state law and the “fundamental right to a free public education.”
New West Charter School told Fox News that 96 percent of their student body has complied with the vaccine mandate, which went into effect after winter break, but “six students who did not follow the new policy still attempted to participate in classes.”
The students, the school says, refused to leave.
“The students proceeded to stage a sit-in directly behind designated areas for student PCR screenings on campus which was cordoned off with tape,” the school added. “New West Charter School administration notified local authorities who came to campus and helped alleviate the disruption.”
The school has argued that they are offering an “independent study” option for unvaccinated students and that parents know what their options are.
“While we are extremely disappointed in the actions of a small group of families who do not support the vaccination policy, the council and NWC parents believe it is the right thing to do for all our students,” the the New West Charter Governance Council said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that individuals not affiliated with the school are using our children for their political gain.”
Let Them Breathe, which claims to be a coalition of over 30k parents, has already had some success in fighting mandates.
In December, a court struck down the student COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the second-largest California school district, San Diego Unified, after a lawsuit from the organization.
It was the first COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the nation to be struck down in a final ruling.
“We are thrilled that the law was upheld in our lawsuit against San Diego Unified School District’s student vaccine mandate. Judge Meyer agreed with our legal arguments that school districts do not have authority to mandate vaccines, they cannot force students into distance learning, and personal belief exemptions for new vaccines are protected under California State law. This decision that school districts do not have authority to require the COVID-19 vaccine echoes statewide, and it shows that parents coming together in a grassroots movement to uphold our children’s rights is powerful and effective,” McKeeman said in a statement about that victory.