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Head Start vaccine and mask mandate found unlawful
Attorney General Todd Rokita took another punch at the Biden administration this week to fight an unlawful vaccine and mask mandate placed upon Hoosiers.
“No one should be forced to take the COVID-19 vaccine out of fear of losing their job, and our children should not be forced to wear a mask,” Attorney General Rokita said.
A federal judge blocked the vaccine and mask mandate for the Head Start program in 24 states, including Indiana with a permanent injunction. The judge initially issued a temporary injunction in January, but today's ruling resulted in a more permanent victory for Hoosiers.
Head Start programs provide children, ages 3 to 5, and their families with early childhood education and resources. The Head Start mandate also required immediate masking by all individuals, including children two years of age or older. It also required a mask when two or more people were in a vehicle owned, leased, or arranged by the Head Start Program.
“Our children are our future, and they have endured enough when it comes to education interruption due to COVID-19,” Attorney General Rokita said. “The masks create additional issues, such as impairing their emotional and social skills at a crucial developmental time.”
The Biden administration’s order would have required teachers, contractors, and volunteers in Head Start programs to be fully vaccinated. Due to religious beliefs, health concerns, and independent choice, some Hoosiers could have lost their jobs by refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, these employees are protected by law.
“The people of Indiana can count on me and my team to continue fighting as long as Biden pushes these egregious encroachments on our liberty,” Attorney General Rokita said. “These mandates go above and beyond the power of his authority.”
The memorandum decision is attached.
A headshot of Attorney General Rokita is available for download.