In this Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, file photo, Evelyn Guillen with her three-year-old son, joins anti-vaccine mandate protesters outside the Los Angeles Unified School District administrative offices in Los Angeles. Parents in California on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, had mixed reactions to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for schoolchildren once they’re fully approved by the FDA.
(The Center Square) – Thousands of Californian parents, teachers and students participated in a statewide walkout protesting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students ages 12 and older.
The mandate, the first of its kind in the nation, applies to school children in grades 7 through 12, age 12 and older. It would go into effect July 1, 2022.
The FDA has granted only emergency use authorization for COVID-19 shots for children between the ages of 12 and 15. It is expected to grant full approval next spring.
KCRA News showed a large crowd gathered Monday at the state Capitol in Sacramento and Hearst TV reported the California Highway Patrol approved a permit allowing 2,500 people to gather.
Parents protesting at the state Capitol carried signs reading, “My body, my choice,” and “My children won’t be a science experiment to make you feel safe.”
A Los Angeles Unified School District employee, Hovik Saponghian, told SkyFOX that school children shouldn’t be forced to “take something without all the data.”
“I’m here protesting the mandate because we don’t believe that we should take it religiously, ethically or morally,” Saponghian said.
A Los Angeles Unified School District parent, Rima Mkhitran, told SkyFOX she was participating in the rally because “we want our children and our teachers to have a choice.”
In addition to the protest at the Capitol, hundreds of parents and students protested outside of a recent Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District board meeting, voicing their opposition to the mandate.
Students who don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine would be required to complete an independent study course at home. Exemptions for “medical reasons and personal beliefs” would be granted but the details haven’t been finalized yet.
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