Roughly 34,000 students in the nation’s second-largest school district have missed the deadline to comply with the vaccine requirement for those 12 and older and will soon be barred from campuses.
Unvaccinated students will now be forced to either leave the school district or enroll in its independent study program.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has in place some of the most stringent COVID-19 requirements in the nation, including the vaccine requirement and universal masking on campus.
About 34,000 L.A. Unified School District students have not yet complied with the vaccine mandate.
And there's now no longer enough time for those who haven't gotten their first jab to be fully vaccinated by the start of the second semester https://t.co/QFZX6TQolL
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 8, 2021
The Los Angeles Times reported that the logistics of moving tens of thousands of students into the district’s independent study program is daunting, at best, and would essentially create its own, small, virtual school district.
“Shifting 34,000 students 12 and older into independent study would be challenging —especially as the district’s independent study program, called City of Angels, has been beset by staffing shortages and confusion after it was inundated at the start of the school year with about 10,000 students, a number that grew to 16,000,” the Times reported. “The 34,000 total by itself would make up one of the 25 largest school systems in California.”
Yet, the paper added, there’s “no indication that L.A. Unified is backing down — with no leniency or extended deadlines under public discussion.”
Stranding tens of thousands of students poses a “significant equity issue” should they be
“It would be a significant equity issue for thousands of students to be forced back into the distance learning that has already been proven to be a failure,” Sharon McKeeman, the founder of the San Diego-based group Let Them Choose, told the Times.
Let Them Choose has been spearheading legal efforts to challenge the vaccine mandate.
“Even after asserting both pressure and rewards, LAUSD does not seem to be on track to meet its accelerated vaccination deadline.”
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