Oakland Unified School District approves COVID vaccination mandate for students 12 and up

ByJ.R. Stone and Amy Hollyfield KGO logo
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Oakland Unified approves COVID vaccination mandate for students
The Oakland Unified School District is now the first in Northern California to mandate full COVID-19 vaccination for all its students age 12 and up.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland Unified School Board voted to approve vaccine mandates for those 12 and older. Those with certain medical cases and religious beliefs are exempt -- but no doubt, it is a major step with the Delta variant spreading so quickly among children.

There is no timeline for implementation yet, but it's the first of its kind in Northern California. The Los Angeles Unified School District implemented a vaccine mandate for students earlier this year.

Wednesday evening, before the school board meeting, some East Bay teachers and students held a rally online. Teacher after teacher in Oakland sounded off and made a strong push for mandatory vaccinations for those 12 and over in the Oakland Unified School District.

VIDEO: OUSD board holds meeting late into night over vaccine mandate

The Oakland Unified School Board held a meeting late into the night over whether to approve a vaccine mandate for students 12 and up.

"Vaccination is a must," said one instructor. Another said, "Please vaccinate and make it a mandate, it's a simple mandate to preserve our community," continued another.

The school board took the matter up Wednesday night, but not before parents questioned the current safety of their kid's schools.

"And how dare you demand that he go to school! How dare you not make it safe for my son to be in school. You taking a gamble with our children's lives," cried one mother.

RELATED: Parents, teachers union protest current COVID testing protocols in Oakland Unified

But not everyone is on board with the idea of a student vaccination mandate. Some fired back, saying parents should decide what goes into their kids' bodies, not schools.

"I'm opposed to the vaccine mandate. Parents and students must have the choice whether or not to take a vaccine," said Sean Long.

Student leaders who attended the meeting said there are still many questions from teenagers who would be required to get the vaccine.

VIDEO: Multiple Oakland classrooms under quarantine due to COVID-19 cases

Just one week back to school and we are learning of new COVID-19 cases in the Oakland Unified School District.

"Students expressed a concern about alienating students and families with such a strict policy considering that parents and guardians have the ultimate decision-making power," said a student representative.

Basically, some students want the vaccine but fear their families won't let them get it and vice versa.

Berkeley Unified discussed but delayed a vote on a similar mandate on Wednesday night.

RELATED: These Bay Area school districts are considering vaccine mandate for students age 12 and up