SDUSD will Require Vaccination

Sevilla Tovar, News Editor

   The COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which has been enforced across California schools in an attempt to contain the pandemic, has sparked legal action and controversy among parents and students.

   According to WebMD, “On October 1, Governor Gavin Newsom said the state would require all K-12 students to be fully vaccinated in the school term after the FDA grants full approval for the vaccine for those age groups. California would become the first state with such a requirement” (

   According to the California State Portal, “The requirement will take effect at the start of the term following full approval of that grade span, to be defined as January 1 or July 1, whichever comes first” (

   An email from the San Diego Unified School District stated, “San Diego Unified will require students who are 16 and older as of November 1, 2021 and who wish to continue learning in-person to be fully vaccinated, effective January 24, 2022 at the start of the new semester/quarter.” It added, “Students who are not fully vaccinated by December 20, 2021 will transition from in-person learning to an independent study program at the start of the new semester and quarter.”

   “Based on current information, the requirement is expected to apply to grades 7-12 starting on July 1, 2022. However, local health jurisdictions and local education agencies are encouraged to implement requirements ahead of a statewide requirement based on their local circumstances” (

   Many staff members are appreciative of the mandate. UC High Chemistry Teacher Tom Volle said, “I understand the hesitancy, but the fact is we’re in a mobile society, and the last thing we want to do is transfer the virus to someone who isn’t able to get the vaccine due to being immunocompromised.”

   Multiple school districts in California have taken initiative and advanced their cutoff dates. According to EdSource, “The new rule requires that students who are 12 and older receive their first dose of the vaccine by November 21 and their second dose by the start of the district’s winter break on December 20” (

   According to the San Diego Union Tribune, “Those who don’t get vaccinated will be required to do remote learning, according to the district’s plan. The district said that state law governing existing immunizations does not allow for students’ personal belief exemptions” (

   As a result of the mandate, there has been legal action taken against school districts. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Statewide, at least five school districts including the two largest, Los Angeles and San Diego, have approved student vaccination mandates. Already, LA and San Diego have received cease-and-desist letters, a precursor to a lawsuit” (

   One of those lawsuits is being brought on by a minor. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, “The student, a 16-year-old Junior at Scripps Ranch High School, said her religious beliefs prohibit her from taking the vaccine.” In the lawsuit, the student stated she would not receive the vaccine since it was tested on stem cell lines that originated from aborted fetuses (

   San Diego Unified was also sued by Let Them Choose, a branch of the Let Them Breathe anti-mask group. The group claims that the mandate is disadvantageous, as students who chose not to get vaccinated would be forced to learn from home (

   If students do not get vaccinated, they won’t be allowed to enroll for classes on campus. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Those unvaccinated students will have the option of enrolling in a fully online school, attending independent-study programs offered by districts or being home-schooled” (

   Junior Henry Stimpert was a student at University City High, but transferred to an online academy in order to graduate early. He said, “Virtual Academy is very similar to how distance learning was last year, except it’s a lot more organized and flexible in terms of class periods.”