Thursday, September 29, 2022

As the school district compulsory vaccination, some teachers fought back

By Gillian Flaccus and Bobby Caina Calvan | Associated Press

Portland, Oregon — Some of the largest school systems in the United States are taking a tough stance against teachers and staff who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19: either get a shot or lose their jobs.

Most teachers have been vaccinated, and the National Teachers’ Union has also approved vaccine regulations, but these policies have triggered protests from educators and, in some cases, opposition from local leaders who are worried about a large number of departures.

In Oregon, school staff across the state must be fully vaccinated by October 18. The board of directors of the 7,500 student district in Redmond passed a resolution last week to protest the school’s mandatory requirement to wear Facial mask.

Board member Michael Summers said: “This could seriously undermine our other mission, which is to provide quality education to children and families in our area.” “We are trying to speak for people.”

Many teachers in school districts that require vaccines can opt out as long as they receive regular coronavirus testing, but more and more places such as New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and St. Louis restrict real medical exemptions and religious reasons. Washington State and Oregon have adopted the same strict vaccination policies statewide.

With the beginning of the new school year, governments of various countries have taken tougher measures on vaccination to resist the highly contagious delta mutation. Children under the age of 12 cannot yet receive the coronavirus vaccine.

“This is to ensure the safety of the children we all cherish and to reassure their families,” Democrat Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, said last week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted the risk of classroom infections in its weekly report on Friday, detailing how an unvaccinated teacher in Marin County, California, north of San Francisco, spread the virus to its 24 teachers. Of 22 people. Students at school. The CDC says that teachers sometimes read aloud to students without wearing a mask.

Some school staff who postponed vaccination said that they would leave before vaccination.

New York City elementary school teacher Marlene Washington protested against Blasio’s orders outside City Hall last week and said that she was considering retiring after 20 years of working in the classroom. She said she questioned the long-term safety of the vaccine.

The 62-year-old Washington said: “I’m still not sure what to do. But I know I’m not vaccinated.”

Kiara Coleman, a food service worker at a school in Philadelphia, said that although she was not sure about the consequences of refusing to be vaccinated, she did not give in.

“When I find more details about the mission, I just need to cross that bridge. I don’t want to throw away all my time in school,” said Coleman, who said she was worried about the potential long-term effects of the vaccine.

Rebecca Smith, a Philadelphia parent whose daughter is in the third and sixth grades, said school officials are obliged to protect unvaccinated children.

“The one thing I shouldn’t worry about is that the people hired to take care of my children make them sick,” she said in a written testimony to the school board. “The task of school employees is to take care of some of the most vulnerable members of our society-our children under 12 years old, who are now the only group that cannot be vaccinated to protect themselves.”

Although teachers’ unions, including the United Teachers Union, which represents New York City teachers, support the vaccine’s non-opt-out rule, they are also advocating on behalf of dissenting members in negotiations with New York City. Some of the talks focused on providing severance pay for those who leave work and take time off, which may allow some teachers to return to their posts once the public health crisis passes.

“We will represent them and we will protect their interests. But there are deep differences here,” said Randi Weingarten, chairman of the American Federation of Teachers, the parent organization of the New York City Teachers Union.

“In the final analysis, employers have the right to implement such vaccination policies, and they will do so,” she said.

Of the 75,000 public school teachers in New York City, at least 72% have received the vaccine at least once.

Protesters gathered in Olympia, Washington, when Democratic Governor Jay Insley announced that teachers must be fully vaccinated by October 18 or face dismissal. Saturday’s protests attracted hundreds of state government employees, from ferry workers to teachers, who rallied against vaccine regulations.

As the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has soared by nearly 1,000% since early July, Democratic Oregon Governor Kate Brown turned to mandatory vaccination.

Approximately 700 teachers contacted the Freedom Foundation, a right-wing legal organization representing companies cited for violating COVID-19 restrictions in Oregon and elsewhere. “We have been telling everyone to let the school fire you,” said Jason Dudash, the organization’s director of Oregon. “Don’t give up. If they want to do this, let them do it.”

Stefanie Garber, head of the Culver School District, said in a letter to the family that the school district in central Oregon with 675 students postponed the start of school by three weeks until September 20 to deal with the consequences of vaccine enforcement.

She said her school district will comply, but believes that state officials have threatened to impose unreasonable penalties, including possible loss of school district liability insurance and cancellation of teacher licenses.

The head of the Lebanese Community School District, Bo Yates, said that in another rural town, the district-sponsored vaccine clinic established after Brown’s vaccine mission attracted less than 10 teachers. If some people decide to leave instead of getting vaccinated, people will Worried about staffing issues.

Yates estimates that in his 4,000 student district, 50% to 60% of teachers and staff are vaccinated. When the mission was announced earlier this month, dozens of teachers and their supporters protested.

“In a sense, I sympathize with them, because in this COVID time, some of the protesters are our superstars. They have been food service workers or our bus drivers who provide food to our communities uninterruptedly. “Yates said. “But we must obey the order given, otherwise we will always swim in this sea.”

In Redmond, Oregon, the school board passed a resolution protesting vaccine authorization by 3 to 2 votes. Board members said that the school district will abide by vaccine regulations and strive to regain local control over the school’s decision to wear masks and vaccines.

A board member who voted against the resolution, Liz Goodrich, pointed out that COVID-19 has surged in central Oregon, and only 57% of eligible residents in Redmond have been vaccinated.

“For me, the local conditions are not good, we hear it over and over again,” she said, “the peak of this delta variant has not yet been completed.”

Calvin reports from New York. Claudia Lauer of Philadelphia and Rachel La Corte of Olympia, Washington contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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