A teacher who was previously honored as Teacher of the Year is now facing termination over his refusal to comply with the vaccine mandate, and has provided several interviews explaining his reasons.
Kahseim Outlaw, 40, a physical education teacher, has been placed on unpaid leave at his school, Lyman Hall High School in Wallingford, Connecticut. While Outlaw was named Teacher of the Year in 2020, but the school has apparently soured on him since, for his refusal to take the vaccine or to get tested.
Outlaw describes himself as a vegan who prefers holistic medicine and says “I don’t even take aspirin.” The issue, he insists, is that the government has no right to make medical decisions for him, and that the decision ought to be his alone.
“If I was worried about my health, I would do what I need to do. If it was testing of my own volition that would be one thing. It just seems a bit unreasonable,” Outlaw told the New Haven Register.
However, he repeatedly stressed that he’s not opposed to the vaccine in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday.
“I’m not against anyone’s medical decisions whatsoever, whether it relates to this particular situation or anything else.”
Kahseim Outlaw was awarded Lyman Hall High School’s 2020 teacher of the year — but now he can’t teach in a classroom due to a vax mandate. Outlaw joins TDR to explains why he’s on unpaid leave for not adhering to his district’s COVID-19 vaccination policy. pic.twitter.com/j4zlrF7hed
— The Donlon Report (@TheDonlonReport) October 11, 2021
When Outlaw arrived at work on September 27th, he says he was called down to Principal Joseph Corso’s office and was placed on a call with Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Francis Thompson. Outlaw says that Thompson “let me know that per the executive order, they had to send me home,” which resulted in his current status of unpaid administrative leave.
The executive order was issued by Governor Ned Lamont on September 10th, and it mandated that all state employees, as well as all school and childcare staff, must have received at least one dose of the vaccine by September 27th or, alternatively, be tested weekly. Outlaw says he tried to apply for a religious exemption, but was denied.
Wallingford Superintendent of Schools Danielle Bellizzi issued a statement without referring to Outlaw specifically:
“While I cannot comment on the specifics of any personnel matter, I did want to share that Wallingford Public Schools is adhering to the guidelines set forth in Executive Order 13G. … This order sets forth the form and manner in which the state, state hospitals, school boards, and child care facilities must maintain the individual’s documentation of vaccination or exemptions and must verify compliance with the testing requirements for unvaccinated individuals.”
Bellizzi went on to state that as per the executive order, “non compliant employees ‘shall not be allowed on the premises’ of the school district.” The order’s ban against violators having “regular or frequent contact with children in child care, students, or staff,” would obviously be prohibitive to someone working in that field, unable to have contact with either the students or their own colleagues.
In his Fox News interview, Outlaw was quite frank about the bleak outlook for him remaining employed, due to the fact that the district will not be granting him leave until the order is lifted:
“Today I actually received notification from my Connecticut education association representative saying that the superintendent does not plan to grant me an extended leave of absence, therefore I won’t be able to hold onto my position until the order expires or the end of the school year. So therefore I think the only consequence of that decision is that my decision will be lost on my end.”
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