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- Sep 29, 2021
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DC mayor's 'no shots, no school' program postponed hours after separate COVID vaccine mandate struck down
The Washington, D.C. government is delaying the date of enforcement for its COVID-19 vaccine mandates for students at all schools through the district.
Washington, D.C. is pushing back the enforcement date for a COVID-19 vaccine policy which requires that students over the age of 12 receive a coronavirus vaccine in order to participate in school.
Democrat Mayor Muriel Browser's administration previously had a "No Shots, No School" policy in place for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year at all schools within the District, meaning that students who are above the age of 12 would need to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend school.
On Friday, the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education announced that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate would not be enforced until Jan. 3, 2022.
"Today, the District shared with school leaders updated guidance regarding the enforcement timeline of the Immunization Attendance Policy for routine pediatric immunizations and the COVID-19 vaccine during the 2022-23 school year," the office announced. "To reduce the number of students who could be excluded from school at any one time, and to align schools and LEAs to one unified notification and exclusion timeline, the District is implementing staggered enforcement based on grade band."
The announcement states that notices will be sent to the homes of students who are not in compliance with COVID-19 vaccination requirement on Nov. 3. The D.C. Council passed legislation in Dec. 2021 requiring students in the District get vaccinated against COVID-19 before the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.
In comments made to the Daily Signal on Thursday, Bowser said that students who are not in compliance with the COVID-19 would not be offered remote learning either.
"We’re not offering remote learning for children, and families will need to comply with what is necessary to come to school," Bowser said.
Jan. 3 will be the first date that children could be excluded from going to school due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
According to data from the city, 47% of Black students between the ages of 12-15 and 42% between the ages of 16-17 aren't vaccinated against COVID-19.
Before the changes were made to the enforcement date of the mandate, students not in compliance with the policy were going to be given 20 days to get vaccinated.
Bowser's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for D.C. city workers was struck down by a D.C. Superior Court judge on Thursday after a lawsuit from the D.C. Police Union, according to FOX 5.
Judge Maurice A. Ross said in his ruling that Bowser "lacks legal authority to impose a vaccine mandate" after announcing in Aug. 2021 that all city employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or get a medical or religious exemption.