Advocacy group threatens schools with legal action over COVID-19 vaccines administered without parental consent
09/21/2021 // Divina Ramirez // Views

Advocacy group Lawyers for Liberty has warned staff in schools across England that they could be held liable if they insist on vaccinating students against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) without parental consent.

Lawyers for Liberty, a self-funded, voluntary network of lawyers, accepts referrals from parents concerned that their children will be injected with a COVID-19 vaccine without their consent. The group then emails the schools concerned, advising them of the "legal risks of their policy."

Holy Cross Catholic High School and Parklands High School in Chorley, a town in Lancashire, England are two of many schools across the country that have been contacted by Lawyers for Liberty. But Steve Mitchell, headteacher of Parklands High School, said they have been assured by legal advisors that they will not be liable because parents have been informed of and have agreed to their vaccination program.

Mitchell also said they've had very few responses where parents said they did not consent to the program. However, he added that they've yet to ask for consent from students' parents since they're still waiting for further instructions from the vaccination team from the National Health Service (NHS).

According to Sajid Javid, the secretary of state for health and social care, the decision to vaccinate children had been taken following "expert advice" from the United Kingdom's top scientists and vaccination experts.

Details about the government's vaccination program for students have yet to be released, but it is expected that school staff won't have a role in the program even though the vaccine will be offered in school settings.


One letter by Lawyers for Liberty, which has been sent to various schools, talked about parents' right to exercise their parental responsibility during the decision-making process.

According to the letter, if a parent communicates that their child will not be included in the vaccination program or does not consent to have their child vaccinated, then that decision should be respected without any further consequences for the child, which may include direct or indirect discrimination and coercion.

Failure to respect that decision may lead to possible legal claims against both the school and its staff, according to the letter.

Parents' concerns dismissed as misinformation

Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said many of their members have been receiving letters from Lawyers for Liberty and other groups threatening schools and colleges with legal action if they took part in the COVID-19 vaccination program for students.

Barton also said the letters were "extremely unhelpful" and asked that the groups behind them stop attempting to exert pressure on schools and colleges in the country.

Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the trade union National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), added that the letters were "misguided" and that the decision to vaccinate children was the government's. (Related: Virginia bill would allow the state to vaccinate children without parental consent.)

However, he said that any parents with questions about important matters like consent should talk to the vaccination teams involved in the actual program.

Parents will still be asked to give their consent before their child is included in the program. But if a child doesn't agree with their parents' decision, the child will have the final say.

The Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has already said that it is aware that certain letters and emails with "misinformation" about the vaccine program have been circulating among schools and colleges.

The agency said headteachers who believe that advocacy groups might stage protests outside their school should contact local law enforcement to help manage the situation.

Follow for more news related to coronavirus vaccines.

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