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Thousands Of LAUSD Students Still Unvaccinated As Deadline Nears

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With just over a month to go until the deadline, thousands of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that approximately 34,000 LAUSD students ages 12 and older are either unvaccinated or have not reported their vaccination status to the district.

LAUSD Requires COVID-19 Vaccines For Students
Los Angeles, CA - September 09:People protest at LAUSD Headquarters after the school board voted in a student COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children 12 and up in Los Angeles on Thursday, September 9, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

Back in September, the LAUSD Board of Education approved a mandate requiring that all students ages 12 and older be fully vaccinated. That will take effect when the spring semester begins on Jan. 10.

Those that are not by that time will not be allowed on school campuses and will either have to enter LAUSD's independent study program, or exit the district completely.

All LAUSD faculty and staff are also required to be vaccinated. LAUSD confirmed Tuesday that 496 district employees had been fired for not meeting the vaccine mandate.

The district added that nearly 99% of its employees were now fully vaccinated. Back in October, the district had reported that 97% of its administrators, 97% of its teachers and 95% of its classified supervisors had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

"We care deeply about all of our employees," interim LAUSD Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said in a statement Tuesday. "Parting ways with individuals who choose not to be vaccinated is an extremely difficult, but necessary decision to ensure the safety of all in our school communities. We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors and encourage everyone to get vaccinated."

RELATED: LAUSD To Loosen COVID Restrictions Next Semester

Several lawsuits have been brought against the mandate. Last week, the father of a freshman student at Granada Hills Charter brought a legal action against the school and the district on behalf of his daughter, alleging the district's COVID-19 vaccine mandate discriminates against the girl on religious grounds.

The L.A. Superior Court petition filed Dec. 3 asks a judge to allow the unvaccinated girl to continue with in-person learning and to direct the district to refrain from discriminating against students who do not get vaccinated because of their religious beliefs.

GHC is the largest public charter school in the nation with more than 5,800 students. The school has been recognized by the California Department of Education as a distinguished school and has received a Gold Ribbon Award from the department. In October, several employees at the school became the first district staffers to lose their jobs for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Several dozen people held a protest against the mandate Tuesday outside LAUSD headquarters in the Westlake District. Another group was expected to hold a protest outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown L.A. on Wednesday.

LAUSD, the second largest school district in the nation, has over 600,000 students and 75,000 employees.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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