Oakdale public schools in California are joining the fight against Gavin Newsom’s vaccine mandate. Before winter break, the Oakdale Joint Unified School District’s Board of Trustees decided that its nine schools would not implement the Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
The resolution adopted on December 13 stated that OJUSD would not deny in-person learning for any students or staff, regardless of their vaccination status. All but one board member signed the resolution.
The resolution also calls on the state to change its vaccine requirement to a vaccine recommendation for students and staff statewide.
Back in October, Governor Newsom announced that all public and private school students, aged 12 and older, would need to obtain the Covid-19 vaccine to attend in-person learning. Teachers and staff were already covered under a California Department of Public Health order.
The mandate does grant religious and health exemptions but will no longer allow the testing option.
OJUSD’s board wants the state to allow schools to decide what is best for their students and staff. This would mean deciding their own Covid protocols and allowing student exemptions beyond medical or religious reasons.
The board wrote:
“Families with personal beliefs and students with ‘natural immunity due to COVID-19 exposure’ should be able to opt-out.”
The resolution continued:
“The governing board is aware that many parents have concerns about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine and believes that parental choice regarding health decisions is absolutely essential.”
The district closely monitors and communicates its coronavirus information through its website and other means. They recorded 377 positive Covid-19 cases among students and staff out of 5,809 people. This was only a 6% positivity rate for half of the school year.
Stanislaus County and Yuba County have also pushed back against the state, asking the Governor to drop the school mandates. The Stanislaus County Superintendent wrote that the parents and children’s physicians should make the decision.
“In reality, for more than 100 years vaccine mandates for infectious diseases including polio, measles, and chickenpox have always come from state legislation: not executive orders, not local, state, or federal health orders, and not from school districts…California needs to ‘pump the brakes’ on mandating vaccinations and leave the decision up to parents and pediatricians who are best suited to make this decision.”
Yuba County asked the state to add personal belief exemptions to the mandate. The superintendents wrote, “The resulting divisions within some communities are eroding the trust and partnerships that are essential in public schools.”
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Oakdale is a rural farming and dairy community. They work hard and are conservative. There’s no way they want to follow Newsom’s tyrannical rulings.