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Mead School Board opposes idea of COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students

At the board meeting on Monday, members asked parents how they felt about the possibility of the requirement. Not one person at the meeting publicly supported it.

MEAD, Wash. — The Mead School District heard input from the community on Monday about adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required immunizations.

A lot of parents and school board members were concerned over the discussion by the Washington State Board of Health about the immunization requirement. 

There is still a while until an official vote, but the Mead School District is sounding the alarm, and hopes other districts will do the same.

At the board meeting on Monday, members asked parents how they felt about the possibility of the requirement. Not one person at the meeting supported it. 

One parent, Chasity Clark, said some parents are afraid to speak up.

"The vaccines are going to prevent my kindergartener from having the socialization that she needs," Clark said.

Mead School District Superintendent Shawn Woodward said they sent out a survey to Mead families about the vaccine requirements. Woodward said 71% of families do not approve of the requirement. He added that 62% of those families said they would not vaccinate their child if the requirement did pass.

"Over half said if there isn't an exemption process from the vaccine mandate they would not vaccinate their student even if this means withdrawing from the school district," Woodward said. "That's one of the biggest concerns that we have, just potentially a mass exodus from public education."

After those results and public comment was shared, board members passed a resolution opposing the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for school children.

The board plans to send a letter to the state board of health, along with 2,100 written comments submitted by the community.