(KRON) – West Contra Costa Unified School District is putting a pause on its vaccine mandate deadline for students.
“For this to happen out of nowhere was very odd especially the vaccination rates for 12 and up in our county are very high.”
At a board meeting this week, district leaders said they’re moving that deadline, which was scheduled for February 18, because thousands of students still hadn’t verified their vaccination status.
Many teachers are now disappointed with the deadline suspension.
This is the latest school district to push back its vaccine mandate deadline for students.
Prior to Wednesday’s board meeting, students were to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before February 18 to continue in-school attendance but now a new deadline remains in the air.
“I and many teachers are very disappointed by this news. You know we’ve been working very hard to keep schools safe and one of the best things to do to keep kids safe and schools open is vaccinations and the district made a commitment and to have them go back on their word was quite disappointing,” Marissa Glidden said.
Marissa Glidden who’s president of a teacher’s union known as united teachers of Richmond says she was surprised by the paused deadline and says she’s troubled that a new deadline hasn’t been set yet.
The original enforcement date for a student vaccine mandate was set for January 3, but school board members pushed that deadline to February 18 saying more than 7,000 of its students 12 and older still hadn’t verified their vaccination status.
The district is now blaming this latest extension on the same issue saying thousands still haven’t verified their vaccination status and the district is unable to accommodate a large number of those students with its online virtual academy.
“It’s concerning when you have people in power who say they’re going to do something and then choose last minute to go back on their word especially because they had a lot of time to prepare. If they were concerned about staffing, we have lots of educators out on medical leave right now who would love to teach at the virtual school so the issues that they cited as the reason why, there are solutions to and we really wish they came to the teachers, the ones who work with kids who can help the parents fill out the forms who can recruit other educators to be at the virtual school to solve some of those problems and that didn’t happen,” Glidden said.
Superintendent Chris Hurst is now expected to bring a new deadline proposal to the board’s next meeting on February 16.
Board members had previously recommended extending the enforcement date to August, aligning with Oakland Unified which already moved its deadline to August 1.
KRON4 reached out to the superintendent and the district about its new deadline but has not heard back yet.