LA school district fires nearly 500 unvaccinated employees; 34,000 unvaxxed students in limbo

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The Los Angeles Unified School District, which is the second-largest school district in the nation, has voted unanimously to terminate 496 employees who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, calling the authoritarian move “extremely difficult, but necessary.”

Of the 496 employee dismissals, 418 were employees who are non-credentialed but critical staff that can include positions such as instructional aides, custodians, cafeteria workers, and others.

The California employees were let go Tuesday “due to non-compliance with the district’s vaccine requirement,” after being notified that vaccinations are a condition of employment.

The school board voted 7-0 in separate motions on Tuesday to fire the employees, who make up less than 1% of the district’s approximately 73,000 workers.

“We care deeply about all of our employees,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly disingenuously remarked. “Parting ways with individuals who choose not to be vaccinated is an extremely difficult, but necessary decision to ensure the safety of all in our school communities. We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

“The science is clear — vaccinations are safe and effective, and are an essential part of the multilayered protection against COVID-19,” the district asserted in a statement. “They help reduce the chances of getting considerably sick and dying from the virus. Los Angeles Unified continues to provide access to vaccines for employees and every eligible student.”

Originally, the district had set an Oct. 15 deadline for everyone to be fully vaccinated or get the boot. It was extended until Nov. 15 but the threat was finally carried out this week. The board is noting that if staff relent and get vaccinated they will be eligible to be rehired, according to KTVU.

The vaccine mandate also applies to all district students, with approximately 34,000 remaining unvaccinated against COVID. It also applies to charter school students who use district school facilities. Students “with qualified and approved exemptions under LAUSD’s existing immunization policies” are exempt from the mandate, according to Fox 11 Los Angeles.

Students are required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10.

There’s no longer enough time for students who have not received their first shot to be fully vaccinated by the deadline and the start of the second semester, according to the Los Angeles Times. That means thousands of children could be held out of school over the requirement.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is one of several large districts in California that has adopted its own rules requiring students to get the jab ahead of a statewide policy that will go into effect after federal officials fully approve the immunizations by age group. The state policy, which was announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October, is not expected to go into effect before July.

Districts including San Diego Unified, Sacramento City Unified, Oakland, and West Contra Costa are among those that have deadlines for student vaccine policies scheduled to take effect sometime in early 2022.

In Los Angeles, students who are not fully vaccinated or who are exempt will be forced into the district’s independent study program or will have to leave the Los Angeles public school system.

The local teachers’ union has also given its stamp of approval over the district’s vaccination requirements for both staff and students.

The mandate is being heavily protested by parents and other concerned citizens.

Many are incensed over the firing of the employees in California:


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