Large Protests From Students and Faculty Across California Against Vaccine Mandates

On October 18, students and faculty across California staged scattered walkouts to protest school vaccine and testing requirements. Statewide mandates require staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or face weekly testing. If employees refuse, they can face termination.

In August, Governor Newsom announced the new order stating that schools had to be compliant by October 15. The order affects approximately 32,000 teachers and school staffers.

Over the weekend, words spread on social media for protests and “sit-outs” to occur. Parents were encouraged to take their kids out of school for a day, while teachers would join them by staying home. Demonstrations were also encouraged throughout the state, with groups participating from San Francisco to San Diego and everywhere in between. The largest demonstration, “Our Children, Our Choice,” took place in Sacramento in front of the state capitol building.

One of the organizers told ABC10:

“We’re fighting for the freedom to make the medical choices that are best for our children. We are fully prepared to pull our kids from public school and hire our own teaching staff if that’s what it takes. We do not co-parent with the government.”

Another parent insisted the protests were not “anti-vax, but freedom of choice.” According to the Daily News, three San-Pedro area teachers said they were told not to come to school on Monday. The teachers also said that they had continuously taken Covid-19 tests that showed negative results since the Spring.

According to ABC7, parent Babe Prieto said:

“We know that if our children stay home from school that that will impact the funding that schools will get for that day. And we want them to know that we’re serious about not being forced to vaccinate our children.”

South Bay and Long Beach Unified School District did not report an attendance difference. Pasadena reported a “glitch” in their system, which kept staff from knowing the percentage of teachers who provided proof of vaccination.

Many of the protestors shared the same sentiment that this wasn’t political. Protestors had varying opinions about the vaccine, with some people fully vaccinated and others not.

The Daily Wire reports, “Not everyone in the group opposes vaccines in general, but they are concerned about exposing children to a vaccine whose long-term impacts haven’t been fully studied.”

Once the federal government fully approves the Covid vaccine for ages 12-15, California will require students in grades 7-12 to be vaccinated.

Los Angeles Unified School District has a stricter policy than the state, requiring students 12 and older who participate in in-person extracurricular programs to receive their first dose by October 3 and their second dose by October 31.

Students 12 and older not in those programs must receive their first dose by Nov. 21 and second by December 19. Students will have to upload their vaccination proof by January 10 to access LAUSD facilities. The district has been sued for not allowing religious or personal exemptions.

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