BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A federal judge is siding with a group of Republican Attorney Generals in blocking a COVID-19 mandate for Head Start.

The permanent injunction from Judge Terry Doughty blocks the requirement that toddlers wear masks and that staff and volunteers be vaccinated.

“Although vaccines arguably serve the public interest, the liberty interests of individuals mandated to take the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any interest generated by the mandatory administration of vaccines,” wrote Judge Doughty in issuing the ruling.

“I am grateful Judge Doughty applied the law and blocked this federal overreach from burdening some of our neighbors most in need. “As I said when we first filed suit, masking two-year-olds and force vaccinating teachers in our underserved communities would impede child development and cost jobs; fortunately, this attack has been thwarted”, said Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

The permanent injunction covers 24 states, including Louisiana and Mississippi.

Click here for the ruling from Judge Doughty.