Audrey Anderson Provides Insight on Students’ Challenge to Vaccine Mandate

November 10, 2021
Higher Ed Dive

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Audrey Anderson provided insight on a federal judge’s ruling in early November barring Maricopa Community College from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine policy for two nursing students. The two students had sued the school claiming the vaccine policy infringed on their religious liberties. While the school does not have a vaccination mandate for all students, the nursing students were required to participate in a three-day clinical rotation at the Mayo Clinic – which does require all students to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination and does not permit religious exemptions.

The nursing students argued that earlier in the year, Maricopa Community College provided clinical rotation alternatives to other students who for “secular” reasons could not meet the requirement. The two nursing students are asking for the same type of exemption and reassignment based on their religious reason for missing the Mayo Clinic rotation.

The case warrants attention because the college had been making some alternatives available to clinical hours, said Audrey. “Once you’re doing that for some students, you have to really make that kind of accommodation available for other students.”

The full article, “Judge Bars Community College District From Enforcing Vaccine Policy for 2 Nursing Students,” was published by Higher Ed Dive on November 9 and is available online.