FEDERAL COURT SAYS NO TO VACCINE MANDATES FOR HEADSTART PROGRAMS

On Saturday, a federal court in Louisiana ruled that Head Start employees will not be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine to keep their job.

According to a federal court ruling​, Head Start employees will not be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine to maintain their jobs. This ruling by Judge Terry Doughty handed a victory to the 24 states who sued over the requirement that Head Start employees get a COVID-19 Vaccine. Judge Doughty said, “The move by President Joe Biden unlawfully bypassed the powers of Congress.

The rule would have required universal masking for Head Start children two years and older, and it mandated that all staffers, contractors, and volunteers be vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 31. Head Start includes preschool programs for 3 and 4-year-old children, while Early Head Start programs are for infants, toddlers and pregnant women to “promote the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by supporting their development in a comprehensive way,” according to its website.

“The issue in this case in not whether individuals should take the COVID-19 vaccine, but whether federal agencies can mandate individuals to take a vaccine or be fired,” the ruling said. “In this Court’s opinion, the Executive branch has declared it has the authority to make laws through Federal agencies. If the Executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the Legislative branch to make laws, then this country is no longer a democracy, it is a monarchy.”

The court agreed and noted that while COVID-19 has “fatigued” the country, the separation of powers must be upheld.

“This issue will certainly be decided by a higher court than this one. This issue is important. The separation of powers has never been so thin,” the ruling said.

The 24 states responsible for this lawsuit and that will be affected by this ruling are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Due to mask requirements for children over the age of two as well as the impending staff vaccine requirement, Head Start directors experienced a shortage of staff and low student enrollment numbers in some areas.

This worried for some directors in rural communities, such as Montana, that they wouldn’t have enough employees to continue operating, if the mandate went into effect.

Also, on Friday, a federal judge halted the mask and vaccine mandates for Head Start programs in Texas, KXAN reported.

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