Teachers, parents and students protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates for students


Solomae Getahun, C.K McClatchy High School

Protests have sparked all over California in opposition to Governor Gavin Newsom’s vaccine mandate.

The nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine mandate in California will require that all students, kindergarten through high school, get the vaccine unless they have filed a personal exemption. Unhappy with the policy, opposing citizens have rallied and protested against it despite the large number of cases resulting from the Omicron variant.

The Our Children, Our Choice Rally took place on November 15. According to ABC10, it called on people to go to the Capitol and keep students home from school to show districts how many students they could lose due to the mandate. 

Serving as a warning cry to legislators, the rally exemplified how the thousands of students, teachers, and parents that participated will continue to gather in order to send a message to Newsom and legislators as the COVID-19 vaccine mandate is enforced. 

Andrea Egan, principal of C.K. McClatchy High School was asked how she feels about such a large rally occurring locally. Egan said, “While I would rather students find other ways to express their opinions that does not require missing school, I do support students speaking their minds, and participating in civic related events. Therefore, I acknowledge their passion to speak out,”.

Egan also said that school would be a safer place if everyone was vaccinated so it is important to do so, and that the mandate needed to happen.

A C.K. McClatchy Junior, who did not wish to be named due to fear of retaliation, disagreed with Egan’s statement. “Everyone should have the right to choose whether or not to get the vaccine. It is a personal decision on our safety and a mandate does somewhat infringe on our rights,”.

According to the Sacramento Bee, California lawmakers are preparing themselves for a new year of protests, as rallies have continued to be ongoing throughout the state. 

For many students including Andrew Yee, senior at C.K. McClatchy, returning to school for the new year is worrisome. “I am vaccinated, but it makes me uncomfortable that some of my peers are not also contributing to creating a safe environment and there are serious, potential health risks due to this,”.

Yee thinks that it is irresponsible to not get the vaccine and it is bad that rallies and protests are encouraging people to not get it. “We have mandated vaccines before so why shouldn’t this be?”.