On Aug. 19, 2021, the Culver City Unified School District announced that all students above the age of 12 must be vaccinated for Covid-19 to come to in-person school by Nov. 19. Those who don’t must enroll in independent study by the same date. This decision was made by the new Culver City Superintendent Quoc Tran and the school board. It comes shortly after the departure of Superintendent Lockhart who only left last semester.
The first vaccine mandate in the California public school system and possibly the nation, the Culver City mandate has been a subject of both praise and controversy. The CCUSD mandate was shortly followed by a vaccine mandate in all LAUSD schools announced on Sept. 9, and an even bigger vaccine mandate announced for all California public schools by Governor Gavin Newsom. This makes California the only state with Covid-19 vaccination requirements.
The decision of the CCUSD vaccine mandate was met with mostly positive responses from both students and teachers, who must also get the Covid-19 vaccine by Nov. 19.
Junior Michelle Zhou is one student who is relieved by the vaccine mandate. “I think the vaccine mandate is phenomenal and finally a step towards the end of the pandemic. It’s truly so relieving to see that our safety is being prioritized,” Zhou said. Now a 17-year-old, Zhou was able to receive the vaccine last year as soon as it was approved for 16-year-olds, which she was at the time.
However, not all those affected by the mandate were happy. In fact, several anti-vaccine mandate protesters demonstrated and held signs outside CCHS after school dismissal for the first several days of school. Junior Faith Rodriguez is a student who opposes the vaccine mandate.
“The thing that I’m opposing is not the vaccine but the mandate. I don’t want to put something that I don’t know exactly into my body. I want the choice to be able to get it or not,” Rodriguez said.
Regardless of whether or not students agree with the mandate, all can agree that it shows that CCUSD is attempting to fight Covid-19 any way they can. As the district works to keep schools open, let’s work together and keep supporting each other throughout this challenging time.