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- SAISD is believed to be the first big Texas school district to make staff vaccinations mandatory.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the San Antonio Independent School District Thursday after its superintendent said he'll require all staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before an October 15 deadline.
The suit, filed in Bexar County District Court and shared by Courthouse News Service, argues that a July 29 order by Gov. Greg Abbott bars any public entity in the state from mandating that people take the vaccine. That order supersedes SAISD's ability to require inoculations of its staff, the state claims.
"Defendants challenge the policy choices made by the state’s commander in chief during times of disaster," according to the petition.
SAISD is believed to be the first large Texas school district to make vaccines mandatory. Superintendent Pedro Martinez's demand comes during a statewide surge of COVID-19 cases as children too young to be vaccinated head back for a new school year.
“For us, it is about safety and stability in our classrooms,” Martinez told the Express-News this week. “We cannot afford to have threats to those two goals.”
Martinez also told the daily that the legal implications of his order weren't a consideration.
The suit is the latest in a growing number Paxton's office has filed against local entities that have pushed back against Abbott's mandates limiting school districts and municipalities' ability to make rules to contain COVID-19.
Earlier this week, San Antonio and Bexar County won a temporary court victory against the state after it sued to stop them from requiring masks in public schools and municipal buildings.
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