A group of teachers in New York City have formally asked the Supreme Court of the United States to take up the case surrounding their impending vaccine mandate, which is set to expire soon.
On Tuesday, federal judges lifted the injunction against the vaccine mandate for the city’s teachers. As of tomorrow, Friday at 5 PM, school employees need to have had their COVID shot.
In the early pages of the petition, the authors argue that other vaccine mandates allow for an opt-out through weekly COVID testing.
"If permitted to take effect, the August 23 Order will force thousands of unvaccinated public-school employees to lose their jobs-while other municipal employees, including those who have significant contact with children, are allowed to opt-out of the vaccine mandate through weekly COVID-19 testing," it says.
The petition further argues that Bill de Blasio "in consultation with all of the other Respondents, announced that DOE employees would no longer be able to opt out of the vaccine mandate through weekly COVID-19 tests."
It was last month on the 23rd of August that New York City Mayor de Blasio came down with his order — if you work for the Department of Education, you’ll need to have your COVID vaccine. The original wording of the announcement set September 27th as the deadline.
But the pushback in the court system led to this week’s Supreme Court ultimatum. NYC teacher groups reacted not only with litigation, but also street-side protests in support of educator’s rights to keep their job.
"While a temporary interruption of work is not actionable, the mandate here would have a permanent effect: it is open-ended, where if a teacher never gets vaccinated, he or she will never be able to return to work," the petition said.
The petitioners argue that city officials have not fully explored the aftermath of laying off public-school teachers if they refuse the jab.
In August, a Supreme Court request was put forward by Indiana University students suing to block the COVID vaccine mandate. In that case, Justice Amy Coney Barrett refused to intervene.
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