The California-Wide School Vaccine Mandate and How it Could Affect SCV

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Reese Kent, Staff Writer

Students, parents, and teachers in SCV staged a walkout/protest against the school vaccine mandate on Monday, October 18th. Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to mandate vaccinations on October 1st, making California the first state in the country to do so. The requirement is expected to go into effect by July 1st, 2022 or once the FDA approves the vaccine for 7th to 12th grade students. The announcement of this mandate wasn’t taken lightly around the state, including Santa Clarita.


Protests were held outside of the Newhall School District building on October 18th, as a walkout was held on the same day. The walkout movement encouraged students to either leave at 12:00 PM, or not go to school on October 18th to display how many students disagreed with the mandate. In the Saugus Union School District, 1,590 absences were reported among their 15 schools. Officials from Saugus Union School District noted that, on average, they normally have 400 absences. With this vaccine mandate, many are anticipating that online learning will be reintroduced for the people that refuse to get the vaccine, which will most likely be a decent amount inside SCV. 


This mandate will not just affect students, but will possibly worsen the teacher shortage around California. “In Modoc Joint Unified School District in Alturas, 31 teachers and other school staff are considering resigning because they don’t want to take the Covid test or get vaccinated,” said Tim Taylor, executive director of the Small School Districts’ Association. With schools already struggling to find substitute teachers for classes, this mandate may complicate things. “In a small district like Modoc Joint Unified, which has 857 students, a loss of nearly half its employees could force it to close,” Taylor said. 


On the bright side, California accounted for 0.7% of the nationwide school closures, despite making up an estimated 12% of the nation’s students. Governor Newsom strives to make that number go even lower. Newsom has made many controversial decisions relating to COVID-19 in the past few months, but some do prove to be effective. The strict COVID-19 policies within schools have displayed successful results so far, and the vaccine mandate should only strengthen those successful results. 

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