Los Angeles charter students sue to stop vaccine mandate, claim school 'segregated' them 'behind barriers'

Posted 112 days ago


Parents and students at a Los Angeles charter school have filed a lawsuit to stop a vaccine mandate that allegedly prevented unvaccinated children from attending class.

The children said they felt "segregated" and "discriminated against."


"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, a nonprofit organization that is representing the students and parents in a lawsuit against the school, told Fox News Digital on Sunday.

Let Them Breathe shared videos of the students protesting after New West Charter School allegedly refused to let them in when school reopened on Jan. 18, 2022. The organization claimed that the students were segregated "behind barriers."

"We’re being refused of the right to attend school," one student claims in a video. "We feel segregated and discriminated against," adds another.

New West Charter School told Fox News Digital that it had implemented a vaccine mandate for students after winter break and had achieved 96% compliance, but "six students who did not follow the new policy still attempted to participate in classes." The school asked the students to leave, but they refused.

"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."

New West Charter said it informed parents of the vaccine mandate last October, notifying them that every student would need to provide proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test to be allowed on campus, "just like every indoor establishment in Los Angeles is doing."

The school also said that it provided an "independent study option" for students who did not take the jab. "Parents who chose not to vaccinate their children knew what options they had available other than returning to campus."

Let Them Breathe is challenging the vaccine mandate, however. McKeeman told Fox News Digital that the lawsuit against New West Charter echoes the lawsuit her that Let Them Breathe (through its initiative Let Them Choose) won against the San Diego Unified School District's vaccine mandate in December.

"New West Charter School’s student vaccine mandate is even more egregious than San Diego Unified’s" mandate had been, McKeeman said. She noted that "New West is mandating for ages 12 and up, which is not even FDA approved." The vaccine has been approved for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

"We have filed a lawsuit against New West arguing that they are violating state law by mandating this new vaccine, not allowing personal belief exemptions, and segregating and denying unvaccinated students their education," McKeeman added.

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