Fired Teacher Tentatively Settles Suit Over LAUSD Vaccine Mandate

Fired Teacher Tentatively Settles Suit Over LAUSD Vaccine Mandate
A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2021. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
City News Service

LOS ANGELES—A longtime Los Angeles Unified teacher who alleged she was fired in 2022 for refusing to abide by the district’s coronavirus vaccination mandate has reached a tentative settlement with her former employer.

In her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, plaintiff Kellie Ford maintained her faith did not allow her to take the shot and thus she was a victim of religious discrimination. On May 23, her attorney filed court papers with Judge Christopher Lui notifying him of a “conditional” accord in the case with the expectation a request for dismissal will be filed by August.

No terms were divulged.

According to her suit, Ms. Ford worked as an LAUSD elementary school teacher for 13 years. In August 2021, the LAUSD granted Ms. Ford’s request for a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination mandate by allowing her to teach remotely during the 2021-22 school year.

However, the LAUSD told Ms. Ford that because of low student enrollment, there was no virtual teaching position available to accommodate her for the 2022-23 school year, the suit stated.

“LAUSD stated plaintiff would have to either receive a COVID-19 vaccine, go on paid or unpaid leave if available or resign from her teaching position,” according to the complaint filed Feb. 7.

Ms. Ford took part in a district disciplinary meeting in October 2022. When she confirmed she remained unvaccinated based on her religious beliefs, she was terminated, according to the suit.

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