A solution to the nation’s second-largest school district will improve classroom safety but is likely to create legal problems.
Los Angeles is the first major school district in the US to initiate this move of mandatory vaccination.
Los Angeles Requires Vaccinations For Students Ages 12
With the Delta vote nationwide, the District Board of Education voted 60 in favor of the action on Thursday afternoon. The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second-largest school district in the country and the final mandate will extend to more than 460,000 students, including some students at independent charter schools located at the courts.
Acting Superintendent Megan Reilly said at a board meeting on Thursday that vaccination of students is one way to keep classrooms running. Los Angeles had some of the longest-running school closings in the nation last year.
Los Angeles already has strict rules on immunization of teachers and staff, and the new student assignments will further enhance classroom safety, but also potentially lead to greater separation and have far-reaching educational effects.
However, parents are still hesitant about the children’s vaccination and are preferring the option of online schooling. The school does not require vaccinations.
Leaving class again can be exhausting for some students. When virtual learning became mainstream last school year, millions of children fell behind in school; it had the greatest impact on low-income students and students of color. Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are 73 percent Hispanic, 11 percent White, 8 percent Black, and 4 percent Asian.
Los Angeles postponement of vaccination exists among a wide range of demographic and ideological groups, from wealthy, predominantly white parents to libertarians and anti-socialists, for a variety of routine childhood immunization practices; conservative activists specifically targeting the coronavirus vaccine; for low-income black and Hispanic families who do not trust a medical facility.
Nick Melvoin, a pro-mission member of the Board of Education, said that within hours of announcing a proposed solution, about 60% of emails he received expressed objections to the mission, which he noted likely reflected the organizational strength of the opposition.
Melvoin said they are concerned that some families will return to online schools, charter schools, or private schools that do not require vaccinations. The teachers’ union at Los Angeles Unified School opposed the measure for several months, citing health concerns.
The district’s students are three-quarters Hispanic and many are poor. Among adults, poor Hispanics are vaccinated well below the state average.
The plan is for all students aged 12 and over in the district to be fully vaccinated when they return to school after the January 11th winter break. People who play sports and other activities should receive their first dose of the vaccine.
Some parents want all eligible students to be immunized. Rimalauer, who runs a kindergarten in the county, said it was relieved that officials are taking steps to try to protect her son until he is old enough to be vaccinated, and it is helping to protect the children of parents in their 60s. i am 70 years old and help her take care of the children.
Other parents opposed the move, including Brina Makovka, who has a teenage son in the school district and believes that parents should be responsible for making decisions for their children, not their children. United Teacher Los Angeles supports the plan and urged the administration to order vaccinations for students after teachers were asked to give vaccines.