In our nation’s capital, students who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 may soon be barred from receiving an education altogether.
Perhaps most startlingly, parents who still refuse to get their children vaccinated may be reported to Child and Family Services and the Office of the Attorney General.
Washington, D.C. is one of the only cities in the nation that still has a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for certain students set to return to school in-person this school year.
Guidelines from the city’s health agency states that students in 8th – 10th grade, or students 13 – 15 years old, are required to receive a “Full Course of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine series.”
The Washington Post had reported, “students over the age of 12 will have 20 days from the first day of school, Aug. 29, to be in compliance with the policy before they are barred from attendance.”
“Students can seek religious or medical exemptions that are reviewed on a case-by-case basis,” The Post notes.
District of Columbia Public Schools has received immense criticism, and numerous inquiries from the press, for providing no alternative options to in-person learning for students who haven’t received the shots.
The Washington, D.C. mayor said during a recent press conference that are no alternatives options for students who cannot attend school in-person due to the District’s vaccine mandate.
The mayor told the Daily Signal, “They can go to school on Monday. But they need to get their vaccinations … and their families will be alerted as to the dates.”
As the Daily Signal recently reported, “Over 40% of blacks ages 12-17 are not vaccinated, according to city data.”
This means that nearly half of the city’s 12–17-year-old students would have been left with no way to receive an education this fall, either in-person or online.
Just as soon as a few hours ago, the district had planned to implement its vaccination guidelines starting this fall semester.
However, D.C. Public Schools has since delayed its implementation after press inquiries about the district’s policies.
Now, for students who are not fully vaccinated, D.C. Public Schools will notify them by November 21 about needing to receive the COVID-19 shots. Students will then be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 3, 2023. Or else.
This move simply delays the inevitable for the district.
Either students will need to be provided with an alternate way to receive their educational instruction, or its policy will force nearly half of the city’s adolescent students out of an education entirely.
As The Post notes, if students still refuse to receive the vaccines after the upcoming “grace period, unvaccinated students will be removed from class and their attendance will be recorded as unexcused absences.
“Should intervention attempts by school officials fail to bring the student into compliance, prolonged absences could trigger truancy, education neglect and referrals to Child and Family Services and the Office of the Attorney General as a final resort” (emphasis in original).
Will D.C. Public Schools COVID-19 vaccine mandate soon lead to fines, or worse, for 40% of the city’s black parents with kids in public schools?
Let’s hope we don’t have to find out.
Photo from Shutterstock.