The school board for the time being will not enforce vaccinations for students to respect families beliefs. (LUCAS GEWERTH / EYE OF THE TIGER)
The school board for the time being will not enforce vaccinations for students to respect families beliefs.

LUCAS GEWERTH / EYE OF THE TIGER

Vaccine Mandate set to hit RJUHSD

New state law requires vaccination by July 2022.

November 8, 2021

All Roseville High School students will need to be vaccinated against COVID 19 by July 22, 2022. This is due to a state mandate issued by California governor Gavin Newsom on Oct. 1

The announcement comes as the debate over mask and vaccine mandates looms across the nation, across California, and across the Roseville Joint Union High School District. As for RJUHSD, the district will follow all mandates from the state of California, according to RJUHSD Board Member Pete Constant. 

“Previously, when the governor passed a mask mandate, the mandate required schools to have an active enforcement policy. We are not sure if that will be part of this mandate’s implementation.” Constant said. “As a government agency we are required to follow all laws and regulations.”

Roseville High School Principal Dr. Nicholas Richter has little information about what to do in terms of the vaccine mandate, but ensures that the school will follow guidance from the County of Placer Health and Human Services and the California Department of Public Health.

Personally, I don’t believe it is the school district’s role to convince parents on medical decisions they make for their children.”

— Pete Constant, RJUHSD Board Member

“Until [PHHS and CDPH] let us know what the parameters are going to be, we will know exactly how to respond,” Dr. Richter said. 

Details for the COVID vaccine mandates are still limited. Still, Richter thinks that enforcement and monitoring will be similar to how the school implements other vaccine mandates for students attending class.

“There are some types of vaccinations, such as what’s called the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis). That’s a vaccination that you can’t attend school until you have it.” Dr. Richter said. “There are others, such as the one for chickenpox, that’s one where you have a window that you can get it, and I may be mixing those up a little, but there’s some that have a window, and some that you can’t come until you get it.”

According to the Office of the Governor, the requirements for 7-12 graders will apply on July 1, 2022, pending FDA approval, with health jurisdictions and school districts encouraged to implement requirements ahead of the state-wide mandate. As for the school district, the plans are still up in the air, in terms of getting parents and students involved, according to Constant. 

“We will have to discuss the regulations with our district legal counsel and then determine the best course of action,” Constant said. “Personally, I don’t believe it is the school district’s role to convince parents on medical decisions they make for their children.”

Sophomore Connor Coday got vaccinated earlier this year. Coday agreed with the upcoming mandates and said that vaccines keep staff and students safe from COVID. Coday also disagreed with the choice of not getting vaccinated for school.

“[Mandates] go against people’s religion, and some parents, I guess, if they don’t want to agree with it, then their kids should just not go to school,” Coday said.. “It’s that simple.”

Some students, however, feel that it is too early to require a vaccine mandate. Freshman Abigail Heckler is skeptical about the timing of the mandate.

“I do feel like getting vaccinated would help stop the spread of COVID, especially with schools, but I’m not entirely sure how to feel about it as a mandate,” Heckler said. “I feel like it still should be the person’s choice to get vaccinated.”

Because the mandates have yet to take place, Constant says the school board will not be involved in checking the vaccination status of students in each school in the district and ensuring parental choice for children. 

“The board has decided that we will respect the health choices of our students and their families,” Constant said.

 

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