Pali High School Board to Decide on Vaccine Mandate

Proposal to be taken up during October 12 Board meeting

By Dolores Quintana

The Palisades Charter High School Board of Trustees will soon decide whether or not to follow the lead of the Los Angeles United School District in mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for all students who attend classes on school grounds. 

During the September 21 regular school board meeting, the Board was to hold discussions and a vote on the matter of a vaccine mandate as reported by the Palisades Post.

LAUSD unanimously mandated the vaccine for in-person learning because of the current Delta variant surge that has led to infections among children and school staff. However, Palisades Charter High is not bound to LAUSD decisions as a charter school even though the school is located on LAUSD property. 

Palisades High sent out a newsletter to parents to inform them of the school’s commitment to the health of everyone who attends or works at the school, “The PCHS Board and school leadership understand this is an important topic for our school community, and are committed to making decisions that are the most appropriate for the health and safety of PCHS students and staff” reads the email/ 

The meeting on September 21 opened with public comments. A pro-vaccine attendee said, “Your kids are required to get 17 shots to go to elementary school, that is not debatable,” a Pali High senior said. “That’s just something that is true … Think about the fact that the school is responsible for our safety. For my safety, I would not want to go to school with your kids if they weren’t vaccinated … I would not want to be in a classroom within five inches of a person that is unvaccinated against the virus that I can contract and give to my mother who has breast cancer or to my grandma who is 95 … if you disagree with that, you have a Zoom option,” as quoted by Palisades Post. 

Another attendee said, “I am not anti-vax, I am anti-mandate. I believe that the choice of whether to inject the COVID vaccine to your body or your child’s body should be left to the individual, not to a committee,” an attendee said. “Will you, members of the board, take responsibility if a child has an adverse reaction to the vaccine? If the answer to that question is no, then the board should not issue a mandate.” 

The current LAUSD mandate requires that students, over the age of 12, who are part of after school activities and programs must be fully vaccinated by October 31 and have their first dose by October 3. Any students who are not part of those activities or programs are required to receive a first dose by November 21 and the second dose by December 19. Any other children who have not reached the age of 12 must be vaccinated within 30 days of their 12th birthday. While Palisades High School is not obligated to follow this rule, any charter school that is a co-located facility is subject to the mandate. 

No decision was reached by the Palisades Charter High School Board of Trustees at the September 21 meeting since the proposal was tabled and the subject will be readdressed at the next Board meeting on October 12.

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