Tens of thousands of students enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District will not be eligible to return to campus for the Spring semester. LAUSD is the second-largest district in the US and has the strictest vaccine mandates in the country. The district requires all students age 12 and older to be vaccinated for Covid-19.
The Los Angeles Times reported that 34,000 students will either have to enroll in independent study or leave the district. District officials announced there is not enough time for students who have not received their first dose to be fully vaccinated by the January 10 deadline.
About 85% of the district’s 6000,000 students are in compliance with the 12 and over vaccine mandate. This number includes students who have received one dose, those with a medical exemption, and those who qualify for conditional admission to the district. Those with conditional admission include homeless and foster youths, military family students, and students with certain special education students.
The district’s independent study program, City of Angels, has been struggling with staffing shortages since it began at the start of the school year. The year started with 10,000 students, then jumped to 16,000. If all 34,000 students enroll, it will be one of California’s 25 largest school systems.
There is no sign that the district will back down, with no extended deadlines or leniency.
In addition to the mass exodus of students, nearly 500 district employees were fired for not complying with the vaccine mandate. ABC7 reports:
“The school board voted 7-0 in separate motions on Tuesday to terminate 496 employees, who make up less than 1% of the district’s approximately 73,000 workers. Most of those fired had likely been on leave since mid-October when LAUSD staffers were to have received at least their first vaccine dose, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Employees were required to receive their second dose by Nov. 15.”
The interim president issued a statement saying:
“Parting ways with individuals who choose not to be vaccinated is an extremely difficult, but necessary decision to ensure the safety of all in our school communities. We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”
If district employees get vaccinated, they may be eligible for reemployment.