Montgomery Co. Public Schools to allow religious exemptions for vaccination following lawsuit

The school system in Montgomery County, Maryland, has said it will allow religious exemptions for its COVID-19 vaccine mandate after facing a lawsuit about the policy.

In early September, the school system implemented a policy mandating that all employees get vaccinated as a condition of employment. The initial mandate allowed for exemptions for medical reasons, but did not mention allowing them for religious exemptions.

On Thursday, the system released what it described as a “clarification” that included information on how to submit religious or medical exemption claims to the school system.

A spokesman for Montgomery County Public Schools told WTOP, “Our modification of communication to staff is to ensure they understand that religious exemptions have been and will be considered.”

An employee of the school system — going under the pseudonym “John Doe” — filed a suit against the school for the lack of religious exemption.

In the suit, Doe is referred to as an administrative worker with Montgomery County Public Schools and a “devout Christian.”

It said, “He sought the Lord for wisdom on this vaccine to determine God’s will, and sincerely believes that it is God’s will that he not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.”

The school system declined to comment on whether the employee will still pursue the lawsuit, saying it “could not speak to specifics of ongoing legislation.”

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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