State Watch

73 San Diego school workers terminated over vaccine mandate

Seventy-three San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) employees have had their contracts terminated due to not complying with the school district’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, the Los Angeles Times reported

The school district set Jan. 24 as the deadline to enforce consequences for employees who failed to be fully vaccinated or meet exemption requirements.

Out of the 73 employees, 12 are credentialed employees (teachers, principals and counselors) and 61 are non-credentialed (bus drivers, cafeteria workers and custodians).

San Diego Unified School Board decided in September to require employees and students to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Dec. 20, according to the Times.

Employees who didn’t comply with the district’s vaccine mandate will be terminated and students who didn’t comply will be forced to learn from home.

The mandate also allows students and district faculty to seek medical and personal belief exemptions from taking the vaccine. 

This comes as 99 percent of school district employees are either fully vaccinated or have received an exemption to the mandate, the Times reported. 

San Diego Unified School Board Trustee Richard Barrera told the Times more than 840 employees were granted medical or personal belief exemption since the mandate began. 

Barrera also said the district’s high percentage of compliant employees means the vaccine mandate has been a success, the Times reported. 

“It proves that vaccine mandates work and are necessary,” Barrera said, according to the outlet. “We will be at 100 percent of our staff that is either fully vaccinated or has received an approved accommodation, and with very little loss of staff. What it shows is that staff who had been reluctant to get the vaccine are getting it as a result of the mandate.”

A judge struck down the district’s vaccine mandate for students last month, saying SDUSD is not allowed to require additional vaccines for attendance beyond what the state already requires. 

SDUSD has said it will appeal the court’s ruling, the Times noted.

Tags California San Diego San Diego Unified School District vaccine mandate

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