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Parents and teachers weigh vaccine mandate, as students prepare to return

Virus Outbreak Thailand
Posted at 10:03 PM, Aug 11, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom mandated that teachers show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or undergo weekly testing. The new rule, not going over well with everyone in the school system, as some parents and teachers are asking for choice, instead of a mandate.

Some parents with American Heritage Charter Schools gathered together at Escondido Charter High School to gather in open dialogue. During a meeting, parents with Let them Breathe, as well as others, say that teachers should not feel pressured to be vaccinated.

"If the state allows them the opportunity to choose, we want to let them know that there is a group of parents that support them in that, and are fighting alongside them," said mother of three Tara Quicke.

She said that everyone's reason for getting a dose or not, should be heard and respected.

"I have a few kids that have health issues and I just think it is not one size fits all. So I think that the state in particular, it's not the school that is fighting us, but that the state really needs to take that into consideration."

Governor Newsom sharing Wednesday morning that all staff of the school system will be required to show proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing, “We think this is the right thing to do," shares the Governor of California, "and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the number one anxiety that parents like myself have.”

The Executive Director of Escondido Charter High school and American Heritage Charter Schools, Shawn Roner, says the new mandate is one his staff is still coming to terms with.

"I know that some of our teachers are very concerned about having the choice taken away from them about decisions about their health,"said Roner.

Quicke said she has heard among parents, that feelings regarding is pretty split, "There are mixed feelings everywhere and there's a lot of information coming at us all the time and it's hard to weight that out and figure out risk management."

Which is why those that showed up to Escondido Charter High showed their support for their school system and staff. Parents in attendance were asking that the state of California, allow local governments and schools to make the best decision for their staff.

"There is obviously a lot of concern especially as this Delta variant has increased and parents are concerned," shares Roner, "My focus is encouraging our parents. They are incredible people, they do a great job, their children are wonderful. We gotta get back to school and we have to be able to get the kids back in the classroom and we can do that safely, and what we are asking is that our health officials continue to work with us and continue to give us leeway to make those decisions."

According to American Heritage Charter schools website, the upcoming school year will provide full time in-person learning.

Roner said they will be returning to the classroom on August 16.