Legal Analyst Discusses California School Vaccine Exemptions
With California becoming the first state to announce school vaccine requirements, many questions followed regarding the exemptions.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif .– Outlining the exceptions but not giving specific details, Gov. Gavin Newsom made the major announcement on Friday that California will become the first in the country to require the COVID-19 vaccine not only for staff but for students following full FDA approval.
“Are their exemptions?” Yes, well-established exemptions: for medical reasons, personal and / or religious beliefs, ”Governor Gavin Newsom said on Friday.
Legal analyst Dan Eaton says the process for students to obtain a medical exemption is straightforward, but applying for a religious exemption is more complicated.
“You will need to get a note from your health care provider that the vaccination is medically unwarranted. The religious exemption is a bit trickier. You must certify that there is a bona fide religious reason for resisting vaccination, ”said Eaton. specializing in labor law.
As for the San Diego Unified School District, board chairman Richard Barrera said he would allow medical exemptions, but not religious or personal belief exemptions.
The Poway Unified School District said it would comply with the state order and allow exemptions.
“We know this is a divisive issue, but ultimately we hope everyone is on the same page,” said Christine Paik, spokesperson for the Poway Unified School District.
The California state legislature may one day decide to remove all exemptions.
“We may want to consider legislative action when the legislature resumes,” California Senator Dr. Richard Pan said.
This possible deletion worries some legislators.
“Very concerned that the legislature, upon its return, will attempt to remove these exemptions,” said Kevin Kiley, member of the CA Assembly and vice-chair of the education committee.
Dan Eaton says the battle over who gets which exemption can go to court.
“You’re going to have the kind of resistance that inevitably comes and leads to legal action,” Eaton said.
Eaton says the school’s legal teams could review each exemption to decide if the reason is allowed and what accommodation will be made for the student.
“At some point the courts are going to step in and give us a lot of advice, but for now anyway, we’re in uncharted territory,” Eaton said.
WATCH REALTED: Parents feel stuck after Governor Newsom announces vaccination mandate for CA students (October 2021)