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LAUSD teachers hold protest demanding lifting of COVID restrictions

LAUSD teachers hold protest demanding lifting of COVID restrictions 02:46

Dozens of teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District held a demonstration Friday demanding that COVID-19 restrictions be lifted.

The protesters gathered outside LAUSD headquarters in downtown L.A. to argue that the district has created a staffing crisis for requiring that all LAUSD teachers and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

"I have a religious exemption," special education teacher Francis Calderon told CBSLA..."That's one of our points of contention. Another one is, if the kids are there unvaccinated, why aren't you letting us be there?" 

The demonstrators claim that hundreds of staff have been fired, placed on unpaid leave, or simply resigned because of the vaccine mandate. It's unclear exactly how many teachers have been let go because of the vaccine mandate.   

"They're often hiring teachers that are not credentialed, don't have years of experience, are emergency credentialed, instead of me," Calderon said. "What's the reasoning behind that?"

"You understand when they say the reason is that you're not vaccinated?" CBSLA reporter Tena Ezzeddine asked.

"I understand that as of November, December, January came, everyone was vaccinated on staff, and guess what happened? Everyone still got it," Calderon said. 

In December, LAUSD said that it would delay a mandate requiring that all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 until at least the fall of 2022. Then on Thursday, California health officials announced that a statewide mandate that all students ages 12 and over be vaccinated will be delayed until at least July 2023. When Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the policy in October, he said it would not take effect until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full authorization to the vaccine for use on children aged 12 and over. So far, however, the shots are being offered to that age group only on an emergency-use basis.

LAUSD recently reported that 90% of its students aged 12 and older have already been vaccinated.

Last month, LAUSD lifted its indoor mask requirement for students and teachers. 

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