Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sues San Antonio ISD a second time over vaccine mandate

click to enlarge SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez speaks during a 2018 board meeting. - Alma Hernandez for Folo Media
Alma Hernandez for Folo Media
SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez speaks during a 2018 board meeting.
Texas Attorney General Paxton has sued San Antonio Independent School District and its superintendent a second time for requiring all district employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15.

The suit, filed Monday in Bexar County District Court, argues that the rule handed down August 16 by SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez violates an order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott prohibiting governmental entities from mandating vaccinations.

Paxton, also a Republican, first sued the district three days after Martinez's announcement, saying an order from Abbott barred governmental entities from requiring vaccinations not fully approved by the FDA.

That legal strategy floundered, however, after the FDA granted full authorization to the Pfizer vaccine.

“The decision to openly violate state law and devote district resources to defending Superintendent Martinez’s unlawful actions is irresponsible,” Paxton said in a statement about his latest suit. “But if school districts decide to use their limited funding to try to get away with breaking the law, my office will oppose them and uphold the rule of law in Texas.”

SAISD, the first district in the state to issue a vaccine mandate, said in an emailed statement that its requirement is in line with new requirements for employers handed down by the Biden White House.

Last week, the administration announced new federal rules compelling all businesses with more than 100 employees to require that their workers become inoculated or face weekly testing. That requirement has the support of 3 in 5 Americans, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll.

"We will continue to lead by example," SAISD said. "Our focus remains on providing a healthy, stable environment for our students and staff – they deserve that."

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