Students sue Indiana University over COVID vaccine mandate

Coronavirus

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WPRI) — Eight college students in Indiana are challenging a state university’s policy to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on campus. 

In June, The Bopp Law Firm, on behalf of Indiana University (IU) students, filed a lawsuit against IU to “preserve students’ rights to bodily autonomy, due process, an education free from unnecessary restrictions, and the right to consent to medical treatment,” according to a statement from the law firm.

A federal judge heard the case in court Tuesday, which challenges IU’s policy students cannot come back to campus unless they are vaccinated. 

An attorney representing the students says the mandate violates the constitutional right of students. The students asked the judge to delay the university’s vaccine policy until the lawsuit is over.

A decision is expected in two weeks, according to the attorney.

It’s not clear if any similar lawsuits have been filed in Rhode Island, but at least one has been filed against a Massachusetts law school.

More than 500 U.S. higher education institutions have imposed COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Rhode Island is now the first state in the country where all of its 11 public and private higher-ed institutions will require COVID-19 vaccinations for students returning to campus this fall.

According to Gov. Dan McKee’s office, there are 73,000 college students, and nearly half of those students come from out-of-state.

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