By BILL HETHERMAN
LOS ANGELES – A man challenging the Los Angeles Unified School District’s student vaccine mandate said in a sworn declaration that he won’t get his 12-year-old son — a student at a prestigious school — a coronavirus shot and that the district’s alternative online learning program is unacceptable.
The father is identified only as G.F. in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit he brought Oct. 8 on behalf of himself and his son, a Science Academy STEM Magnet school student who is referred to in court papers as D.F. A hearing is scheduled March 4 on the pair’s request for a preliminary injunction against the vaccine mandate.
“For a variety of reasons, I will not get D.F. vaccinated for COVID- 19,” G.F. states in the declaration brought Tuesday.
G.F. says he believes the vaccine could irreparably harm his son, who has already contracted and recovered from the coronavirus and may have strong natural immunity.
“Further, I worry that vaccinating him could prove even more dangerous now that he has had COVID-19,” G.F. says. “Among other things, I fear that the vaccination could overexcite his immune system and antibodies.”
Having weighed those risks against what he believes to be a “statistically minuscule risk” that his son will contract the coronavirus again, G.F. says he “vehemently objects to LAUSD’s attempt to force his vaccination.”
D.F. has received all other required childhood immunizations, according to G.F.
“I believe that vaccines have saved countless lives and that they qualify as a miracle of science,” G.F. says. “I remain concerned, however, about the known potential and actual risks as well as the unknown risks — short, medium, and long term — of the current COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer’s, particularly for children of D.F.’s age.”
The Science Academy STEM Magnet school, located in North Hollywood, is a seven-year, college-preparatory public school that incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics. G.F.’s court papers state that D.F. studied hard to pass the entrance exam to be admitted to the school and does not want to have to leave because he and his parent choose to not have him receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“D.F. and I both want him to continue to attend in person both the Science Academy and its extracurricular activities,” G.F. says. “We object to LAUSD’s excluding D.F. from school in any way, including by forcing him to participate in an online independent-study school such as City of Angels.”
The LAUSD’s policy requiring D.F. to enroll in the City of Angels online program if he does not receive the vaccine presents his father with a “Hobson’s choice,” G.F. says.’
“Either I get him a vaccine that I fear could harm him, or I send him to a virtual school that I know from experience and LAUSD’s own data would prove academically vastly inferior,” G.F. says.
D.F. takes great pride in getting admitted to the Science Academy — a feat he often boasts about — and he “dreads the possibility of losing his spot,” G.F. says.
“The idea of dumping him into an online school, free of a rigorous academic program and torn away from his like-minded classmates, breaks my heart,” G.F. says. “Worse, I fear it will break his.”
In their court papers, LAUSD lawyers maintain that the court relief sought by G.F. and his son “fails on every conceivable level” and should be denied.
“Plaintiffs’ proposed injunction asks this court to ignore the life- threatening risks presented by COVID-19 and the corresponding threat it poses to public education…,” the LAUSD attorneys argue in their court papers.