Bay Area parents protest statewide school vaccine mandates by keeping kids home

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Statewide school walkout protests vaccine mandates for kids
Some parents kept their kids out of school Monday to protest Governor Newsom's COVID vaccine mandate for school children.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Children were at the center of a statewide protest on Monday over vaccine mandates.

Some parents kept their kids out of school to push back against Governor Newsom's COVID vaccine mandate for school children.

The mandate would require students who attend school in-person to get the vaccine once the FDA fully approves it.

Children will be at the center of a statewide walkout on Monday to protest COVID vaccine mandates, if organizers have their way.

Enforcement could begin as soon as January, but not likely until July.

Over the weekend, organizers said on social media the plan was to speak up, by not showing up.

RELATED: California to require eligible students in public, private schools be vaccinated against COVID-19

"We know that if our children stay home from school that that will impact the funding that schools will get for that day," said parent Babe Prieto, who supports the walkout. "And we want them to know that we're serious about not being forced to vaccinate our children."

California schoolchildren who attend in-person will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, once its fully approved. Enforcement could begin as early as January, but more likely in July.

Other parents argue students are already required to get immunized for ten other serious diseases in order to attend school in California.

RELATED: East Bay school board meeting shutdown as parents speak out against face masks in classrooms

The San Ramon Valley Unified School Board shut down its meeting Tuesday because of shouting from protestors who refused to wear face masks.

"You typically sign an agreement when your child attends any public school here in the United States that your child will be vaccinated," said Oakland parent Michael Avila. "And there's typically a list of vaccinations/immunizations that your child is required to have."

"It disappoints me that people are continuing to not take the vaccine seriously," said San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Canepa. "As a parent, you want to make sure that your kid is in a safe school setting."

"Please realize that this vaccine is not a slam dunk," said Prieto, who told ABC7 News he is not "anti-vax" and supports other more established immunizations for schoolchildren. "You can still get the disease. You can still pass the disease."

In California, 85% of eligible residents having now received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, a statistic Governor Newsom credits with getting the state to the lowest 7-day case rate in the country.

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