There’s been lots of discussion on whether the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for students and staff to attend schools. Many similar discussions are occurring nationwide on how, or if schools will make vaccination mandatory to attend. With the tumultuous political climate, and lots of hesitation around the COVID-19 vaccine, making vaccinations mandatory can come with potential lawsuits and opposition from parents .
Recently the vaccine and masks have been mandated in schools. Masks are mandated only for some schools but still are recommended. According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles county is one of the first and biggest California school districts to mandate the vaccine for its almost a half a million students. Talk about mandating the vaccine in other big school districts like New York and Chicago,has already spurred protests from parents and anti vaxxers.
There will be obvious obstacles when it comes to mandating a vaccine for minors especially when the parents values don’t align with the students. While most of the objection about mandates is coming from parental units and guardians, the people who are ultimately going to be affected by any decision being made about vaccines are the students attending. Students often haven’t had their voices heard regarding this issue so I sat down with two of our very own Santa Barbara High school students Kaelie Walker and Isabella Vasquez, to hear their opinion on vaccines and mask mandates.
“The science is clear they help stop the spread and protect students and teachers “ replied Kaelie when asked if masks should be implemented in schools “Covid still around we need masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 and masks have proved to be effective in doing that “ Isabella added.
I also asked Kaelie and Isabella what they would think if the vaccine would be implemented in the Santa Barbara school district and they both think it’s a good idea “I think it’s a good idea in theory as long as everyone has equal access to get vaccinated” says Kaelie. “I think it would be effective as would prevent a lot of infections, although I predict there would be resistance against it becoming mandated as it has become a political issue” replied Isabella. Both parties commented that they are both vaccinated and got vaccinated very early on. Lastly I asked what they would say to someone who isn’t getting vaccinated sitting in front of them. They both said unfortunately many people have fallen victim to fear based information and don’t have the right information on the subject.“ If they have an autoimmune disease that prevents them from getting vaccinated safely, or a religious reason, I would not encourage them to get vaccinated. However, if they’re not getting it just because they don’t want to, I’d say that it’s not just a personal choice, getting vaccinated is a choice that affects everyone around you and keeps them safe” says Isabella.
Santa Barbara Unified School District, being a prominent school district and county making important decisions for twenty-one schools and over thirteen-thousand students and admin. The main question is will they ever mandate the vaccine for the schools.Recently updates have been made to where teachers are now required to have the vaccine or, start the termination process, resign, or get vaccinated.
[Image Credit: Schluditsch]