San Antonio ISD is being sued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after the school system imposed a rule mandating personnel to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Paxton accused the district and Superintendent Pedro Martinez of “deliberately breaching state law” by issuing the demand, which defies Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting any public institution from enforcing COVID-19 immunizations. The state is asking for a temporary restraining order to prevent the district from executing the rule, which is slated to take effect on Oct. 15.
State’s attorneys said in the lawsuit that San Antonio ISD and Superintendent Martinez must know that they are not above the law. The district is considered to be the first in the state to issue a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, has also issued its own mask order for employees and kids.
Martinez stated in a letter to SAISD employees that the district has the power under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to require vaccines for employees, with a few exceptions such as religious convictions and health reasons. When asked about the pending litigation, district officials indicated they couldn’t comment.
Separately, protecting children in our care is our state and federal responsibility, and we will continue to act in the best interests of our kids, families, and community, according to the statement. To be the most responsive to what our immediate community demands and expects from us, we will continue to follow our local health authority’s orders and the CDC’s guidelines. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg complimented the district for the mandates earlier this week.
They have the capability to do so, and they’re putting those tools to good use. On Monday, Nirenberg stated that they will have a safer environment. Abbott’s unilateral action has sparked a flurry of legal challenges between him and municipal governments.
Bexar County was given a temporary injunction on Monday, allowing it to implement a mask rule in public schools. The injunction was granted in part because of testimony from local officials, who painted a bleak picture of what frontline responders are dealing with amid the newest coronavirus outbreak caused by the delta strain.
Bexar County had a weekly average of 1,578 new coronavirus cases per day as of Wednesday. Due to the infection, about 1,400 people have been admitted to hospitals in Bexar County, leaving only 6% of hospital beds available.