Thousands of California Parents Join in Statewide Walkout Against Vaccine Mandate for Students

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Thousands of California parentsstudents, and teachers on Monday participated in a statewide walkout to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all students in both public and private schools.

Newsom, a Democrat, earlier this month announced the vaccine mandate for schoolchildren in grades 7 through 12 once the vaccines have received full approval by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making California the first state to implement such requirements.

So far, the FDA has only granted emergency authorization for anyone aged 12 to 15. Newsom’s latest vaccine requirement is expected to take effect in January 2022 or the start of the 2022 school year.

Crowds of Californians opposed to the measures swarmed the steps of the California Capitol, carrying signs that read “My body, my choice,” and “My children won’t be a science experiment to make you feel safe.”

Many parents statewide pulled their children from school to participate in the rallies, in hopes their absences from class would send a message to state officials.

One Sacramento mother, Kendall Ramer, 32, told the Associated Press that she pulled her two children out of elementary school to attend a rally, adding that she and her husband plan to shift to homeschooling once Newsom’s vaccine mandate comes into effect.

“Everybody should be able to make their own choice for what’s good for them,” she said.

Los Angeles Unified School District employee Hovik Saponghian told SkyFOX that schoolchildren shouldn’t be forced to “take something without all the data.”

“I’m here protesting the mandate because we don’t believe that we should take it religiously, ethically or morally,” said Saponghian.

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) parent Rima Mkhitran told the news outlet that she was participating in the rally because “we want our children and our teachers to have a choice.”

“As a parent, I think I have the right with other parents to stand up for our children,” she said.

By Isabel van Brugen

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