Article by GQ Pan from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times.
In a 5–0 vote, the governing board of the Calaveras Unified School District (CUSD) decided at a Tuesday meeting to not “enforce, support, or comply” with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mandate, which would require students at all public, public charter, and private schools to receive COVID-19 vaccines following full federal approval of the shots for their grade span.
The school board said in a message to the school community that the decision, which came during the meeting, applies to both students and employees, adding that it will further discuss and potentially make a decision on mask mandates and testing protocols at its next meeting scheduled for Nov. 23.
In an earlier statement, the CUSD said its board was aware of the possible repercussions the district may face as a result of rejecting the state mandate, including “possible liability exposure, funding loss, and other formal actions that can be taken against the district.”
“[Board members] understand there are strong perspectives and opinions on both sides of the issue,” the statement read. “They understand the Superintendent’s recommendation for mandate compliance based on these potential consequences, but they feel strong in their individual positions on this topic.”
CUSD serves about 5,300 students and includes five elementary schools, one middle school, and Calaveras County’s only two public high schools.
California became the first state in the nation to announce COVID-19 vaccine requirements for K–12 schools in October, when the pediatric vaccines were still pending a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Newsom said the mandate would take effect only when the vaccines receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children.
“The state already requires that students are vaccinated against viruses that cause measles, mumps, and rubella,” Newsom said when he announced the mandate. “There’s no reason why we wouldn’t do the same for COVID-19.”
“Vaccines work. It’s why California leads the country in preventing school closures and has the lowest case rates,” said the Democratic governor, who survived his recall election fueled by his pandemic response. “We encourage other states to follow our lead to keep our kids safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Despite mask mandates and other preventive measures the Newsom administration put in place, California’ COVID-19 infection rate has recently stopped dropping and started ticking up. As of Nov. 10, California remains one of the CDC’s red “high” level of virus transmission states, compared to yellow “moderate” level in Florida, where there is no state-issued mask or vaccination mandate.
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