LAUSD board to vote on student coronavirus vaccine mandate

The Los Angeles Unified school board is expected to vote on a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students on Thursday, Sept. 9, a policy which, at least in concept, is not expected to face opposition from the teachers union.

Thursday’s special board meeting has just one item on the agenda: a resolution “requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all students who access in-person instructional programs operated on District facilities, who are 12 years of age and older.”

The majority of school board members have already indicated support for a student vaccine mandate, or are at least leaning that way, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Board President Kelly Gonez did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

The board’s vice president, Nick Melvoin, meanwhile said in a statement that the goal is to keep students and teachers safe and in the classroom.

“A medical and scientific consensus has emerged that the best way to protect everyone in our schools and communities is for all those who are eligible to get vaccinated,” he said. “This policy is the best way to make that happen.”

United Teachers Los Angeles did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the specific proposed policy, details of which have not been made public. But the union has been vocal about its support, in general, of a vaccine mandate for students.

UTLA, which has also supported the district’s vaccine mandate for employees, at one point demanded a student vaccine mandate as part of its negotiations with the district over COVID-19 safety measures and how to deliver instruction to students quarantining at home.

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The union removed language about the student mandate in its most recent counterproposal to the district, but said in an email to its members that it would continue to advocate for such a policy outside of negotiations.

“Outside of bargaining, we continue to press LAUSD to take this important step as Culver City Unified has,” UTLA stated.

While other districts in the county are considering a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, according to the superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, so far, Culver City is presumably the only district in the state to have actually adopted a policy.

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