California governor Gavin Newsom announced a mandate that all schoolchildren in the state must receive vaccinations. The Board of Trustees for the AUSD discussed how they will implement this new law, and how it will affect students.
The newsom vaccine mandate is a topic that has been discussed by the AUSD Board of Trustees. The board discussed how they would handle the new mandate and what their thoughts were on it.
The AUSD unanimously approves the continuation of teleconference sessions.
ATASCADERO — ATASCADERO — ATASCADERO — On Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m., the Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) conducted their regularly scheduled School Board of Trustees Meeting.
The meeting started with a report from private session, in which the Board stated that they had reached an agreement with the administration on the specified expulsion of six students and the stipulated suspension of one student.
Principal Shauna Ames of San Gabriel Elementary gave a presentation on school-related reports. Buddy classes, the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) to help identify students who may need additional support, and the gaga ball pit—a circular pit in which students play a game similar to dodgeball—were among the many ways the school was supporting students, according to Ames.
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
The public’s spoken communication was then opened. There were a total of eleven speakers, five in person and six online. It was mentioned that numerous emails were sent in, but that emails will no longer be read at meetings since that the community may speak in person or through virtual conference. This is a return to the normal procedure previous to the necessity for virtual School Board sessions, when in-person public input was not possible.
Dr. JD Megason was the first public speaker, and he expressed his displeasure with Governor Gavin Newsom’s declaration on Friday that children in grades K-12 would be forced to take the COVID-19 vaccination in order to attend public or private school in California. Megason requested that the trustees disregard the directive. He emphasized that he is vaccinated and does not consider himself to be a “anti-vaxer.” He raised a number of issues, including the fact that the teacher’s union was granted an exemption from the requirement and that instructors were given the choice of whether or not to take the vaccination, while children and their parents were not.
Shane Payton was the next public speaker, and he expressed his displeasure with the vaccination mandate. Himself began by saying that both he and his wife are vaccinated and not “anti-vaxxers.” Many of Payton’s friends have taken their children out of school due to the mask requirements, which he expressed regret over.
“These are the kinds of families and kids that we need in our schools,” Payton added. “I expect a lot more families to take their children out.”
Justin Colewell, who stood next to the speaker, voiced his opposition to requiring kids to get vaccinations.
“The risk/reward ratio really frightens me when I look at a condition where youngsters haven’t had a lot of danger,” Colewell said, citing a Cleveland Medical Center research as well as another “out of Israel” study. Colewell also mentioned the VAERS database, which gathers data from individuals who have had an adverse response to a vaccination and have made a report, and claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine was responsible for almost 16,000 fatalities. Mr. Colewell was accurate, according to a simple fact check using the VAERS database, as the number of fatalities recorded to the VAERS database owing to any of the three COVID-19 vaccinations globally was 15,937 as of Oct. 5.
“We’ve gotten to a point where we have to do something,” Colewell said. We can’t simply sit there and claim that we don’t have a choice and that things are occurring over our heads and we have no option but to accept it. “How do we know when it’s time to get up?”
“Am I ready to stand up and fight for the weak and for those who now seem to have no option in this?” Colewell said towards the end.
Christine Dowd was the next speaker, and she said that she completely agreed with the prior speakers, but that since they had talked so eloquently, she had additional problems she wanted to discuss.
The new high school timetable was the first topic Dowd brought up. She voiced her dissatisfaction with the new timetable, as well as that of her high school daughter. She inquired whether instructors had a voice in the issue and if a poll of kids and teachers could be conducted to see if it was working, as it was not for her family.
The ACE Academy waiting list was the second topic Dowd addressed, and she recommended that additional instructors be recruited to accommodate the kids who were still on the waiting list.
The third point raised by Dowd was the idea of installing cameras in classrooms that would focus solely on the teacher—similar to the cameras used in school board meetings—so that absent students could keep up with their work and parents who are not permitted on campus could check in on their children’s classrooms and establish better transparency.
The next speaker, Jeremy Spears, voiced his displeasure with the vaccination requirement.
“If Governor Newsom were to succeed in forcing an experimental “vaccine”—at this point, it’s still experimental—on our children, we would simply have to withdraw out until we had a vaccine that has been thoroughly tested over many, many years,” Spears added.
“You can’t really equate it to the measles and mumps,” Spears said. You can’t compare it to that since they’re not the same thing. That is something we are all aware of.”
Darcy Kristy then spoke electronically, agreeing with all of the prior speakers that the vaccine’s danger is greater than the risk of COVID. She also said that if this is required, her family would remove their children from the district entirely—they will not remain at ACE Academy or attend a private school, but will just leave. She said that she knows of at least 60 other students and staff members in this district alone who will quit if the requirement is implemented. She said that she is not opposed to the vaccination, but that it should be a personal decision.
“The government has no place here,” Kristy said emphatically. “It is not their decision whether or not my kid needs a vaccination.”
Brendon Colewell was the next speaker, and he said that the vaccination requirement was “extremely intrusive into the family,” and that “if the vaccine did what it was intended to do, you wouldn’t need to mandate it.” He further said that if this was required, his family would remove their children from the school system.
“Parenting is difficult enough,” Colewell said, “so please let me parent.”
Brandon Hall took the stage next, saying that the vaccination requirement would be opposed by “a ton of families—more than I can count, and more than we know.”
“They’ve been breaking our will for so long, distracting us, confusing us, and it’s time we said enough is enough,” Hall added. “I think God has given you, the school board, this authority and power… and we’re hoping for the best for you.”
Brittany Pidgeon was the next speaker, and she expressed her vehement objection to the vaccination requirement. She urged the board to defy the order and “do the right thing.”
Rebecca Koznec, the Vice Chapter Chair of Moms for Liberty, was the next speaker. She claimed that 150 additional families have joined the local branch of Moms for Liberty in order to oppose it since the Governor’s statement on Friday. According to Koznec, she conducted a study and discovered that 60 kids from our district alone would drop school if the requirement went into force.
The Superintendent’s report came after the public’s oral communication was closed. Superintendent Tom Butler took advantage of the chance to address the Governor’s statement. He praised the parents who spoke out, adding that he had also received a lot of letters and phone calls from worried parents. He said that the school board’s aim is to do as much as possible for the kids while respecting parent choice and keeping health and safety in mind. He also said that the absence of information was “concerning” and that there were many queries for which there were no solutions. Butler said that he would not be able to make any definite comments until he had a better understanding of the situation.
During the Board Member Reports, Trustee Mary Kay Mills gave an impassioned statement in which she spoke out against the vaccination requirement.
“I’d want to take a stance in front of you and inform you,” “I am with a lot of our community in that I am against this requirement… this is a line in the sand for me,” Mills told her colleagues trustees. “I want you guys to know and realize that I will be aggressively outspoken,” Mills said.
While there is currently no religious or other exemption for previous vaccines, Mills went on to say that a religious exemption for the COVID vaccine is still possible, but “our Governor has stated that he would like to have those options removed—personal beliefs and religious exemptions—he said in a press conference.” “I noticed it.”
She shared her own family’s experience coping with her 18-month-old child’s vaccination damage. “I dread a future in which someone like him, regardless of his medical history, is compelled to vaccinate.” I dread a future in which we don’t have a choice.”
“As for me, I took an oath of office to uphold the law of the state of California, and I think we all need to make sure that our legislators know what our feelings are—how we approach the fact that our oath of office tells us that we need to take care first and foremost of the health and safety of the children in our charge,” said Trustee Donn Clickard. So that’s my position on the subject.”
Terri Switzer, a trustee, delivered a terribly sympathetic and sad statement that sounded eerily similar to those heard in living rooms, coffee shops, and on the sides of soccer games throughout the state. She started by expressing her own dissatisfaction with the country’s current condition.
“To be honest with you, all the tiny chips on my shoulder are starting to irritate me, and it’s been nothing but a hit, after hit, after hit, after hit for the United States of America.” Everything, I believe, is escalating, and it’s escalating on everyone.” “I don’t have the filthy solutions to the issues that are being put in front of us,” Switzer said. I have no idea what the solution is. I feel like we attempt to vote, but our votes aren’t counted. We attempt to do so, but it is ineffective. I’m not sure how you go about changing the position we’re in, and I’m worried for my family, my company, and my neighborhood. I don’t want to pack my belongings and go. I don’t want to give up and say, “I’m not going to vote anymore because my vote doesn’t matter anymore,” but I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ll have to take a leap—not off a bridge, but I’m sick and tired of being sick and weary.”
Trustee Corinne Kuhnle voiced her reservations about the COVID vaccination, as well as her reservations about mandates in general.
“It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up,” remarked Trustee Kuhnle. “[My husband and I] made the decision to receive our vaccinations, but it was our decision.”
“What’s the answer?” Kuhnle inquired. “I’m not sure… “However, I am a firm believer in ‘we the people.’” “This should be up to the parents, their doctors, and how they feel,” Kuhnle said.
Kuhnle urged all parents to go straight to the source and write letters to the Governor’s office expressing their dissatisfaction.
Ray Buban, a trustee, didn’t mince words while speaking to the parents who spoke.
“You are completely correct. One guy is forcing you to do something you don’t want to do. One individual is determining what is beneficial for the state as a whole… “It’s also absurd.”
“It was stated that we pledged to defend the California Constitution as well as the United States Constitution in our oath of office.” So I’m curious as to where this kind of tyranny has devolved to the point where we don’t have to obey it. Then there’s the issue of what would happen if we as a Board said, “You may come to our school district—you don’t have to have this,” and what would be the ramifications for us, the district? That’s something we’ll have to investigate.”
“Terrie Switzer, it was wonderful,” said Trustee Tami Gunther, “and you nearly moved me to tears, and I believe that’s how most of us feel.” Nobody knows what the solutions are. Nobody does, and that irritates me.”
“I’m not ready to make a decision one way or the other,” Gunther remarked, “but I think it’s better to educate than to dictate.”
“It’s a cumulative ache that we all experience,” said Board President George Shoemaker. He voiced his dissatisfaction with attempting to make the greatest choice when there seem to be no decent options. “It may be a difficult profession at times. Yes, it is.”
The Board of Directors agreed 5-0 to endorse the minutes from the September 21 meeting. Trustees Buban and Mills did not vote because they were unable to attend the meeting.
The Consent Agenda received a 7-0 vote of approval.
After the expiry of AB-361, a resolution to continue utilizing remote teleconferencing provisions during meetings was unanimously approved and will have to be brought up again every 30 days.
A resolution stating that AUSD has enough textbooks and instructional resources for each student was overwhelmingly adopted.
Trustee Clickard read a proclamation designating the week of Oct. 10-16 as Week of the School Administrator, which was overwhelmingly accepted.
A resolution was unanimously adopted with one part of social science included that had been left out of a previous resolution addressing teaching assignments.
At about 8:49 p.m., the meeting was adjourned, with the next meeting set for Oct. 19.
The AUSD Board of Education meeting may be watched on the district’s YouTube channel.
The AUSD Board of Trustees addressed the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine requirement, which was released last Friday, Oct. 1, but it was not on the agenda, therefore no action was taken outside of a discussion since no information was provided for the Board to vote or make a decision on.
During public comment, the Board merely addressed a subject that was a source of worry for many community members.
On Thursday, Oct. 7, this story was amended to include the publisher’s comment.
As an example:
As if Loading…
The california vaccine mandate is a recent decision by the California Board of Trustees. This decision has caused controversy across the nation.
- california teacher vaccine mandate
- when will school resume in california 2021
- are schools going to close again in california
- california student vaccine mandate
- when will high schools reopen in california