LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Grassroots organizers and parent groups have been circulating flyers calling for parents in the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as other districts, to keep their children home from school Monday as a way to protest vaccine mandates.
With officials across the southland working hard to keep COVID-19 out of schools, deadlines are approaching for teachers and staff to get vaccinated in some districts, including LAUSD.
LAUSD district employees are required to have their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Monday. Many employees have done just that, which comes as a relief to some parents.
"It shows that they are really committed to their profession and to protecting students," said Rachel Wagner, the parent of an LAUSD student.
On Friday, LAUSD reported that 97% of its teachers have gotten at least one dose, as well as 95% of administrators and 95% of supervisors, like cafeteria managers or administrative assistants.
Workers who do not comply with the vaccine mandate will not be able to return to work Monday.
In a statement, the district said in part:
"We are working to ensure uninterrupted learning and educational opportunities at schools while we continue to provide vaccine access to our employees who have not met the requirement."
Officials at LAUSD have not said how many employees have sought to opt out of vaccines.
California was the first state to mandate vaccines for all eligible school children and some parents are pushing back with the proposed "sit-out" Monday.
"There are definitely parens who are pulling their kids out of school all across California, across the country, too," said Angela McArdle, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County.
Eric Neff, the parents of two elementary students in the Corona-Norco School District, said he's part of a group that plans to take part on Monday.
"...against the perpetuity of masks for children and it's against mandating an experimental drug that they're calling a vaccine into children at this point," he said and added that if the "sit-out" is a way to make a change or a difference, that's something he would like to do.
The Corona-Norco School District has responded to the proposed "sit-out," release a statement that reads in part:
"As a district, we have contingency plans in place to ensure our paramount obligation of teaching and learning within a safe and supportive environment continues in our schools."
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID, and Pfizer could receive an emergency use authorization for its vaccine for children age 5 to 11-years-old in the coming weeks.
Many parents, including some with students in LAUSD, have already had their kids vaccinated. Some say they disagree with the vaccine mandate protests.
"Having children and students sit out of school, many of which really haven't had a normal year in the past 18 months, is really doing them a disservice," one parent said.
Officials with LAUSD said they are holding more walk-in vaccine clinics Saturday and Sunday to help get their employees vaccinated. They will also show them how to upload their information onto the "Daily Pass" system.
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