By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
The Palisades Charter High School Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, September 21, to discuss a number of topics, including a student COVID-19 vaccination mandate proposal.
A proposal was slated to be discussed and voted on by the board at Tuesday’s meeting, recommending approval of a resolution requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all students who access in-person instructional programs provided by the school who are 12 years of age and older—in line with a mandate that was passed by the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education Thursday, September 9.
The LAUSD Board of Education voted unanimously that the mandate was appropriate based on continued high COVID-19 transmission rates due to the surge of the delta variant and cases among school-age children due to transmission.
“The PCHS Board and school leadership understand this is an important topic for our school community, and are committed to making decisions that are the most appropriate for the health and safety of PCHS students and staff,” according to a newsletter sent by Pali High on Saturday, September 11.
Pali High, which is an independent charter school that operates on LAUSD property, does not have to comply with the original decision by LAUSD to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Board of Trustees meeting began with public remarks.
“I am not anti-vax, I am anti-mandate. I believe that the choice of whether to inject the COVID vaccine to your body or your child’s body should be left to the individual, not to a committee,” an attendee said. “Will you, members of the board, take responsibility if a child has an adverse reaction to the vaccine? If the answer to that question is no, then the board should not issue a mandate.”
Other attendees argued in favor of the mandate.
“Your kids are required to get 17 shots to go to elementary school, that is not debatable,” a Pali High senior said. “That’s just something that is true … Think about the fact that the school is responsible for our safety. For my safety, I would not want to go to school with your kids if they weren’t vaccinated … I would not want to be in a classroom within five inches of a person that is unvaccinated against the virus that I can contract and give to my mother who has breast cancer or to my grandma who is 95 … if you disagree with that, you have a Zoom option.”
The Board of Trustees tabled the vote and will revisit the topic on Tuesday, October 12.
The mandate in place for LAUSD requires students 12 years and older who partake in in-person extracurricular programs to receive their first vaccine dose by October 3 and their second dose no later than October 31.
All other students aged 12 and up will be required to receive their first dose by November 21 and their second by December 19. All remaining students will have to receive their first dose no more than 30 days after their 12th birthday.
The mandate applies to all LAUSD students and charter school students on “co-located school facilities.”
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