Anti-vaccine mandate supporters speak out in school board meetings, look towards new proposals

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The vaccine mandate is prompting confrontations between parents, teachers and school boards across Kern County.

This is true for even districts that have not seen much active protest.

Monday’s walkout dropped attendance by up to 31 percent in one school district while another dropped by only seven percent. But even though there’s a gap between these numbers most districts saw parents speak out about the vaccine mandate.

And these anti-mandate supporters aren’t just looking towards the school boards but also at the next election.

Greenfield Unified School District held its board meeting this morning with one parent demanding trustees not to follow the vaccine mandate.

“We must do something for our kids now, now that we can do something and stop following rules to those who we pay to serve us,” Maria Tirado a parent in the Greenfield Unified School District said.

These demands are similar to those made by parents and teachers across Kern.

“They asked me if I’m going to give the shot to my kids and I said no,” Tirado said. “Not even when it’s required? Not even when it’s required.”

But school boards have their hands tied.

“We follow all CDC and CDPH guidance and we work closely with legal counsel,” Luke Hogue the assistant superintendent of Greenfield Union school district said.

The anti-mandate supporters are also turning their attention to next year’s election.

On Tuesday night, an information session was hosted by the Californians for School Choice about the proposed Education Freedom Act. If passed the act could give $14,000 to parents who have children in grades K through 12 so they can choose how their children should be educated.

“It gives parents the opportunity to choose what their children’s education is going to be,” Lillian Lopez the co-chair for Californians for School Choice said. “It just separates them from what’s going on within the school and it’s for all parents.”

The group is still in its preliminary phase as they prep to get 1.5 million signatures statewide to get their proposal on the 2022 ballot.

Below is the current fact sheet about the vaccine mandate in schools provided by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.

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