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Parents Keep Students Home To Protest Newsom's State-Wide Vaccine Mandate For All Schoolchildren

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A number of parents kept their children home from public schools Monday morning in protest of the state-wide vaccination requirements announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month.

Social media posts called for parents who disagree with the vaccine mandate for students to keep them home from school Monday in a state-wide protest. There does not appear to be a formal group behind the protest.

"We have to stand up for our children, we have to stand up for our rights," parent Armine Adamyan said. She was among a large contingent of parents protesting at an LAUSD district office, and carried a sign that said, "No Forced Vaccination," while chanting, "My body, my choice."

Parents have cited several reasons for being against a vaccine mandate for school children -- some say children have a better survival rate for COVID-19, while others say the vaccine has not been studied enough in young children.

"I'm not against the vaccine," Adamyan, who kept her three kids home from school, said. "I'm just against the fact that there is no long-term studies on it. You don't know what can happen with a vaccine further in the future."

Protests were also reported in Fullerton, at the Huntington Beach Pier, and up north, at the capitol in Sacramento.

Quoc Tran, superintendent of Culver City Unified School District, said bluntly in a message to parents that a walkout is a bad idea and points out that parents who do not want to vaccinate their children can apply for exemptions.

"Keeping children home from school to protest the proposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate would only result in lost learning time for students," he wrote.

Culver City Unified is believed to be the first school district in the state to require eligible students to be vaccinated against COVID. Parents dropping off their children at Culver City schools Monday expressed skepticism that such a protest would be effective.

"There's no reason to walk out. Why take your kids out of school if you want your kids in school," parent Mark Villa said.

Tran's letter makes a point to emphasize that vaccine mandate is still a "proposal" that depends on full-use authorization of the vaccine for children 5 and up. None of the COVID-19 vaccines have yet to be approved for children under the age of 12, but emergency-use authorization could come as soon as Halloween. Newsom's mandate would go into effect the semester after the FDA's full-use authorization for that age group, and would apply to students in both public and private schools.

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