U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) today introduced a bill that will protect students in Washington, D.C. public schools from the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) also joined them.
The D.C. school vaccine mandate would prohibit unvaccinated schoolkids from 12 to 15 years of age from attending school in person. The mandate is particularly harmful to black students, who are vaccinated at a lower rate than other students. D.C.’s vaccine mandate comes on the heels of two years of school shutdowns and remote learning – which led to substantial learning loss, particularly for students who were already struggling in school. If the D.C. vaccine mandate is enforced, many D.C. students may fall even further behind in school.
Sen. Cruz said:
“D.C. public schools are blatantly discriminating against black students in our nation’s capital. The rate of vaccination for black students between the ages of 12 and 15 in Washington, D.C. is 60 percent – far lower than the city average. D.C. schools has already postponed enforcement of this racist policy until 2023 and they should simply scrap it. Until they do, I will fight for the students of D.C. and work to end this mandate.”
Sen. Blackburn said:
“Right now, any news organization worth its subscription fee is running story after story with evidence that the left’s forever pandemic is destroying the mental and emotional well-being of children. Yet somehow, right here in our nation’s capital, leaders are depriving students of a basic education if they don’t comply with the District’s highly-politicized vaccine mandate. Getting vaccinated should be a decision between a patient, parent, and doctor – not politicians pressured by big teachers’ unions and radical activists.”
Read the bill here.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sen. Cruz led the fight against unlawful COVID-19 mandates by introducing the first and most sweeping bill to prohibit federal vaccine mandates. Sen. Cruz introduced the Parental Rights Protection Act to prohibit the federal government and any entity that receives federal funding from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for minors, and introduced legislation to end the Biden administration’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mask mandate for all Americans, regardless of vaccination status. Sen. Cruz has led his colleagues on amicus briefs against vaccine mandates on Navy SEALs and federal employees.