OAKDALE, CA – The Oakdale Joint Unified School District is defying Governor Gavin Newsom to say that it won’t enforce California’s COVID-19 jab mandate for students and staff.
The school district decided last week in a 4-1 vote that it will not make the mandate a recommendation moving forward.
“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 board stated, according to The Modesto Bee .
District officials went on to say that their board “supports local control and decision making.” They went on to let Newsom know that he needs to reconsider the negative impact this mandate could have on students and staffers alike, “including the anticipated interruption in attendance for many students whose parents elect not to vaccinate them.”
They also feel that Newsom should allow schools to decide for themselves what COVID-19 safety protocols that they feel are necessary. The district then emphatically stated that it will not deny any “student access to in-person education” because of his or her COVID-19 vaccination status.
The district claimed that the COVID-19 jab mandate “appears to discriminate against people of color disproportionately; therefore, creating racial, ethnic, and philosophical issues.”
A California Department of Education spokesman fired back by saying that districts that refuse to comply with Newsom’s mandate will lose attendance-based funding once unvaccinated students are caught attending classes in person.
“State Superintendent Tony Thurmond respects local control and understands the difficult choices districts need to make in order to keep schools open and safe and to keep all students learning,” said spokesman Scott Roark. “However, there are audit consequences for not adhering to current immunization requirements.”
Newsom had announced back in October that the state of California would require all public and private school students to have the COVID-19 jabs in order to attend school in person, according to ABC News .
Last week, while appearing on “Good Morning America,” Newsom appeared to backtrack a bit when he called for his mandate to be fine-tuned.
“We need to fine-tune all this, this is iterative,” he said. “We want to keep the kids in school. … We don’t want to see 34,000 kids sent home, quite the contrary. And that’s why I’d say you have to accommodate. And I have all the confidence in the world the school board will work to accommodate.”
“I think it's highly ironic that you have governors preaching freedom against this vaccination but not preaching freedom against other vaccinations."
— GMA3: What You Need To Know (@ABCGMA3) December 8, 2021