LESA joins lawsuit against Biden administration’s vaccine mandate
January 25, 2022
By Jessica Mathews and Jon King / [email protected]
A local middle school district has filed a federal lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration over a federal COVID mask and vaccination mandate.
The lawsuit was filed in Detroit District Court last week by multiple plaintiffs, including the Livingston Educational Service Agency, against the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Assistant Secretary of Administration for Children and Families and Director of the Office of Head Start.
He calls for the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate to be declared unconstitutional, alleging that “a vaccination mandate is simply not within the secretary’s delegated authority.” The mandate requires all Head Start staff to wear masks and be fully vaccinated or risk losing program funding. A separate mandate that employers of 100 or more workers ensure they are all vaccinated or tested weekly was struck down earlier this month by the US Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs say they will lose staff, resulting in the closure of classrooms and programs. The complaint says Head Start children and families, the majority of whom live below the poverty line, will lose access to the Head Start services they rely on for high-quality education, nutrition and child care. quality.
The lawsuit says the warrant will cause devastating and irreparable harm to the districts and those Head Start was created to serve. “Under the threat of a funding cut, Head Start programs are forced to comply with a mandate that means laying off or losing staff and affected contractors and volunteers who are not vaccinated,” the lawsuit states. “This will result in a reduction in Head Start services to eligible children and families.
The complaint further reads: “Livingston ESA is taking several precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including requiring classroom staff to wear masks and students to wear masks in class. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for ten days. If there is close contact with anyone in the student’s household, the student must stay home for the quarantine period plus an additional ten days of isolation. As of December 1, 2021, 73.3% of Livingston ESA employees who tested positive for COVID-19 are vaccinated. At least 37 Livingston ESA staff are still unvaccinated. If Livingston ESA is forced to lay off unvaccinated staff, multiple classroom closures will occur. For each closed class, students would no longer be able to participate in Head Start. »
The lawsuit notes that HHS “has never before mandated vaccination for Head Start staff, contractors, or volunteers, and not even for children enrolled in a Head Start program.”
Other listed plaintiffs include Saginaw Middle School District, Walled Lake Consolidated District and Wayne-Westland Community Schools.
A request for comment on the lawsuit was made to LESA Superintendent Michael Hubert, but was not returned.
A copy of the complaint is attached.