Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Rancho Santa Fe school board urges governor to rescind vaccine mandate

RANCHO SANTA FE – The Rancho Santa Fe school district board passed a resolution last week calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to reconsider or repeal a nationwide immunization mandate announced by the governor in October.

The state mandate, the first of its kind in the country, will be required for personal school attendance for all students attending California public and private schools. The ordinance is slated to go into effect in July 2022 once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has fully approved the COVID vaccine for each age group.

Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is fully approved for people 16 years and older. The Pfizer vaccine also has an emergency approval for children ages 12 to 16.

The Rancho Santa Fe school district was one of the first public school districts in the county to reopen for full-time personal teaching in August 2020.

The resolution reads: “The district has demonstrated in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years that it is fully capable of providing a safe personal learning environment for students during the COVID-19 public health emergency. “

“The governor’s vaccination mandate severely limits the local school district’s control over how best to provide access to personal education for all students, and the Board recognizes that many families who do not vaccinate their children will de-register their children ; Given this likely outcome, the vaccination mandate affects the local school district’s ability to personally care for its students, ”the resolution continued.

The resolution was presented on December 16 by outgoing CEO Kali Kim and unanimously passed 4-0. Board member Rose Rohatgi was absent but informed the board that she also did not support the mandate.

“I am an advocate of the vaccine myself, but I can support that it is parents’ choice for their children,” said board member John Tree.

The newly elected CEO Jee Manghani agreed, saying, “I believe that all parents should have this choice for themselves and their children.”

According to the order, unvaccinated students have the opportunity to attend an online school full-time, to attend independent courses or to be tutored at home.

“Vaccines work,” Newsom said during the October announcement. “Because of this, California leads the country in preventing school closings and has the lowest number of cases. We encourage other states to follow our example to protect our children and prevent the spread of COVID-19. “

“Are there any exceptions? Yes, established exceptions: for medical reasons, personal and / or religious beliefs, ”Newsom continued.

The process remains unclear for students requesting medical or religious exemptions from the vaccination mandate and whether or not a “personal belief” exception remains.

At the district assembly on December 16, the board also elected Manghani as the new chairman of the board and Annette Ross as the new vice president.

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