House Bill 1421, introduced by State Senator Rusty Grills (R-Newbern), would prevent schools from mandating that students or their parents receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It would also prohibit schools from requiring the vaccine for attendance, or retaliating against the student in any manner. Schools who violate this proposed law would be subject to civil action, as determined by a court.
“Ultimately what this bill is designed to do is to give the parent the ability to decide what goes in or doesn’t go in their child’s arm,” stated Grills. “I am a fan of parental choice. Parents know what’s best for their child, not the government. All I want to do is protect the individual right for a family to decide what is best for that child. I believe that decision is best made at home, and not in a bureaucratic position. I don’t want to see schools enforcing, as a condition of enrollment, a COVID-19 vaccine upon them.”
Grills attempted to add an amendment to the bill allowing for religious exemptions to all vaccines even in the case of a pandemic or local health emergency: Amendment 551. It passed with Ayes overwhelmingly.
Grills defended that this bill would serve as “preventative maintenance.”
“We are best suited to let parents be in control of their child’s healthcare,” stated Grills. “And that’s all I’m asking, I believe that’s all any American would ask.”
The bill wouldn’t extend to higher education.
State Representative Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) introduced the companion bill. The last action taken in the House was passage by subcommittee.
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