South Bay parents participate in statewide walk-out to protest school vaccine mandate

South Bay parents have their children skip school to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandate.png
Posted at 4:32 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 20:57:09-04

BONITA, Calif. (KGTV) -- Some parents and students in the South Bay took part in today's statewide protests against school vaccine mandates. Parents said they are ready to pull their children out of school for good.

It was recessed all day Monday for kids at Rohr Park in Bonita. Their parents allowed them to skip school.

Mother of three Courtney Sewell said she stands with parents statewide, who are against Governor Gavin Newsom's plan to require the COVID-19 vaccine to all students once the shots are given full FDA approval, which could happen as soon as January.

RELATED: California parents keeping students home from school to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandate

"We won't do it," Sewell said. "We will not give it to our kids, so you leave us no choice but to withdraw all of them."

Parents said what happened Monday is a precursor of what is to happen if the mandate goes through.

"I think it's about trying to get our voices heard and hit them where it hurts in the pocket," parent Stephanie Carrillo said.

According to the California Department of Education, the current cost of education per student in 2020 at the Chula Vista Elementary School District or Sweetwater High School Unified Districts was more than $12,000, a significant loss to the districts if students leave.

Dr. Jyotu Sandhu with Sharp Rees-Stealy hoped the parents reconsider.

"It's really important that everybody that is eligible to be vaccinated, be vaccinated," Dr. Sandu said.

When we asked the parents at Rohr Park if any of them were vaccinated against COVID-19, none of them said they were. When we asked if they or their children were vaccinated against other illnesses, almost all of them said they were, saying California public schools required it.

Parents said they are not anti-vaxxers. They just don't want to be told to get this specific vaccine.

"This is a freedom of choice, and I honestly don't think that it really goes beyond that," Sewell said.

Dr. Sandhu said he believes parents should focus on science and the greater good.

"It kind of took this particular issue, and took it away from a medical issue, into a polarizing political one.," Dr. Sandhu said. "When you think of infectious disease, we have to take our minds away from me me me and think of it more as us."

Like with the other required school vaccines, parents still have the option to opt-out of the mandate for religious or ideological reasons.

The San Diego County Office of Education sent ABC 10News a statement that read:

"Showing up for school each day has a huge impact on a student's academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. We understand that families and students may have strong emotions and questions about COVID-19 safety measures, including vaccine and testing requirements for students and staff. However, keeping children home from school to protest state policies only results in lost learning time for our students."
San Diego County Office of Education