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Education

Texas Sues San Antonio ISD For Requiring Staff To Vaccinate Against COVID-19

 A staff member walks with students in the hallway at the Young Men's Leadership Academy.
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SAISD Communications
A staff member walks with students in the hallway at the Young Men's Leadership Academy.

Updated to include a statement from SAISD.

The State of Texas has filed suit against the San Antonio Independent School District.

Court documents filed Thursday accuse SAISD, and Superintendent Pedro Martinez, of violating state law by requiring district employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

When Martinez notified staff of the requirement Monday, he said it was time for the district to “lead by example.” District employees have until Oct. 15 to comply with the requirement. He estimates 90% of SAISD staff are already vaccinated.

The state is accusing Martinez and SAISD of “challenging policy choices made by the State’s commander in chief during times of disaster.”

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order in July forbidding government agencies from requiring the coronavirus vaccine "administered under an emergency use authorization." On Monday, Martinez said he expected the FDA to grant full approval to the vaccine in the next few weeks.

Attorneys for the state have requested a temporary restraining order barring the district from enforcing its vaccine requirement.

In a statement, SAISD officials said they can’t comment on pending litigation.

“Separate from that, it is our state and federal responsibility to protect children in our charge, and we will continue to act in the best interests of our students, families and community,” district officials said. “We will continue to adhere to the directives from our local health authority and guidance from the CDC in order to be the most responsive to what our immediate community is demanding and expecting from us.”

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