New York City public school teachers ask Supreme Court to block vaccine mandate

New York City public school teachers ask Supreme Court to block vaccine mandate
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

A group of public school teachers in New York asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to block the New York City vaccine mandate that is set to go into effect Friday afternoon.

In court papers, lawyers for the teachers say that New York City, as well as the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, have placed an “unconstitutional burden” on public school teachers.

New York city officials issued an order requiring Department of Education staff who “work in-person” in a school setting or building to submit proof of at least one dose of vaccination of Covid-19. The original deadline was September 27 and it did not permit the employees to undergo weekly testing in lieu of the vaccination.

The lawyers argue that instead of allowing teachers the opportunity to opt out of the vaccine mandate through weekly testing, the city’s mandate “forces unvaccinated public-school employees to go on unpaid leave for nearly a year.”

The challengers in the case give different reasons for not wanting to get the vaccine including a concern over the long-term effects of the vaccine.

They say the mandate “threatens the education of thousands of children in the largest public-school system in the country and violates the substantive due process and equal protection rights afforded to all public-school employees.”

A federal appeals court initially put the mandate on hold, but later lifted the order.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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