BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The call to end vaccine mandates was heard throughout the state this morning as parents protested by not sending their kids to school. Parents, teachers and students skipped school to make their voices heard, sending a message against being forced to get inoculated.
One of those absent students is senior Nichole Griffin, a member of the Young Republicans at Bakersfield High.
“They try to cancel us around America,” said Griffin. “So, the fact that we have confidence, and we are willing to do this shows that we are not going to be silent.”
This is far more than a lesson in civil disobedience for Griffin.
“It’s my senior year in high school,” said Griffin. “I want to enjoy it, I want to have all my senior activities, I don’t want to be forced into a shutdown because I don’t have a vaccine.”
Teachers who refuse to get the shot also made it out.
“This vaccine mandate is crossing a line and it needs to be a choice,” said Lori Cisneros, a literature teacher at Valley Oaks Charter. “”It’s our American right to say ‘no’ to something foreign in our body that we don’t want.”
Cisneros is one of the many teachers who requested a religious exemption but had her request denied.
“The district, KCSOS, has decided to put me on unpaid leave,” said Cisneros. “So, I am here in protest but I’d rather be in my classroom.”
For now, the only thing they can do is participate and make their voices be heard.
“My employer should work with me and come up with an accommodation,” said Cisneros. “My reasonable accommodation was to work remotely until this goes away.”