UPDATED 10:41 AM PT – Monday, October 18, 2021
California parents and teachers who oppose Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom’s vaccine mandate planned a statewide walk-out. Those choosing to rally against the policy targeting students joined forces on Monday. Protest organizers urged parents to keep their children at home and asked teachers who support the walkout to stay home as well.
People gathered in front of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office in downtown Bakersfield.
— BakersfieldNow (@bakersfieldnow) October 18, 2021
This statewide demonstration comes in response to Newsom’s vaccine mandate that took effect last Friday. Once fully approved, California school children who attend in-person classes would be required to take the vaccine. However, parents like Babe Prieto of Sacramento said forced vaccinations are unconstitutional and violate the bodily autonomy of their children.
“We want them to know that we’re serious about not being forced to vaccinate our children,” stressed Prieto.
Another parent, Amy Smith, added that it should be their choice to decide if their child should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The parents make the choices for medical freedom for their children and that we have bodily autonomy,” she stated. “It’s my body, my choice and so, we just hope that the school district hears the parents and know that they’re is an overwhelmingly amount of parents who are not happy with this mandate.”
Meanwhile, biology teacher Phil Johnson stressed if the vaccine mandate goes through, it will be devastating to the school system.
“This mandate, especially in kids, is a complete government overreach and Governor Newsom is playing politics with our children,” he asserted.
For now, the mandate only applies to students ages 12 and older, but the FDA reported it’s on track to approve vaccines for children ages five to 11 as soon as November.