AUSTIN, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a preliminary injunction against the Biden Administration to stop the implementation of the vaccine mandate for all staff and volunteers of the Head Start program.
Head Start "offers a full range of high-quality early education and development services that are designed to increase the school readiness and foster the healthy development of young children from birth to age 4," according to the Office of Head Start's government website.
There are a total of 31 Head Start locations that operate in El Paso and Hudspeth counties, according to the program's website.
Head Start programs are federally funded and are operated by several types of entities, including independent school districts. Staff employed by Head Start programs however are not federal employees, according to the preliminary injunction.
On Nov. 30, Head Start updated its rules and stated that all staff would have to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Jan. 31, 2022. The rules also declared that there would be universal masking for all individuals two years of age and older.
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The filing by Paxton also seeks to put a stop to the new mask mandate for which applied to parents picking up or dropping off their children.
The Mask Mandate forces Americans with children in Head Start to choose between complying with the illegal mandate and allowing staff to force their children to wear masks, or withdrawing their children from the program," Texas attorneys wrote in the lawsuit.
Texas executive order GA-40, states that an employer cannot impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on an employee who qualifies for an exemption for religious, personal, or medical reasons.
Texas executive order GA-38 prohibits local governments from requiring a person to wear a mask or face covering:
Head start programs will have to discharge toddlers who are unable or unwilling to comply with the Mask Mandate from the program or risk their continued receipt of Head Start financial assistance," Texas attorneys wrote in the lawsuit.
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This marks the fourth challenge to the Biden Administration vaccine mandates filed by Paxton. To date, federal courts have stopped all three federal vaccine mandates after Paxton and other attorneys general challenged the mandates.
I will not allow Texans to be coerced into getting a vaccine because the federal government is giving them an ultimatum to choose between their health or their child’s preschool education,” Paxton said. “The freedom and liberty of all Americans is at stake now and I will never stop fighting for what is right.
To read the preliminary injunction click here.
To read the lawsuit click here.
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