The LA Board of Education, which governs the Los Angeles Unified School District, met this afternoon to vote on a COVID vaccine mandate for eligible students. All public school students ages 12 and up must now be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 10, 2022, though some exemptions exist.
Culver City Unified School District also has announced a vaccine mandate. Other school districts, including Santa Monica-Malibu, Beverly Hills, and Baldwin Hills, are considering one as well.
LAUSD board member Jackie Goldberg tells KCRW, “We believe that it is essential to keeping kids and adults and everyone in the community safe to have the highest rate of vaccination possible. And therefore we believe, like vaccines for polio, or for smallpox or measles, they should be required.”
She acknowledges special cases where some kids wouldn’t need to get their shots: “There are exemptions for … students who have various types of health issues underlying. There are exemptions for students who might have one or more of the ingredients of the vaccine they are allergic to. … Religious exemptions are a lot harder.”
Goldberg already expects legal pushback. “We get sued by everybody for everything all the time. It’s kind of a semi-competitive indoor sport these days. So yes we’re assuming we will be sued. … It will be settled in court. But in the meantime, what we will be doing is saving lives.”
She points out that polio outbreaks would still be happening in LA if not all kids were vaccinated at the time. “So I’m not happy when people tell me that they don’t want me to tell you what to do. I’m sorry. If you don’t want me to tell you what to do, don’t go to our schools. Because we’re going to try to keep your children safe, regardless of what your politics are.”