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Families Protest Vaccination Mandate At SCOE
As people began disbanding following a protest at the Stanislaus County Office of Education last week, there were a few people that stayed behind holding signs expressing their concerns over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all school students. Photo Contributed

Parents and families gathered in protest last week at the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) to oppose Governor Gavin Newsom’s plans to mandate vaccines for all school students. There were families posted in front of the building and were lined up and down the street holding signs. Many motorists honked their vehicle horns as they passed by. For those that were not going to be at the protest they showed their support by keeping their students home from school on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans earlier this month to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccinations required for students to attend school in-person for all grades. Once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives full approval for age groups within a grade span the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will consider the recommendation before allowing the requirement to be implemented.

SCOE supports the schools in Stanislaus County including Oakdale Joint Unified School District and Riverbank Unified School District. They are the connection between the schools in the county and the California Department of Education. SCOE does not make major policy decisions. All the policy decisions and funding comes from the state level.

Riverbank Unified School District reported that there was an increase in absent students especially the elementary schools compared to the middle and high schools last Wednesday.

Several of the parents’ arguments included having the right to decide what is best for their own children, where is the science to prove that it is necessary for children, and what the adverse effects could be from the vaccine as could also be seen on a number of signs on the day of the protest.

Officials noted that the requirement would likely be implemented on July 1, 2022 for grades 7-12.