SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Across the state, parents are planning to keep their kids home from school on Monday, Oct. 18 to protest California Gov. Gavin Newsom's COVID-19 vaccine requirement for schoolchildren.
“We’re fighting for the freedom to make the medical choices that are best for our children. We are fully prepared to pull our kids from public school and hire our own teaching staff if that’s what it takes. We do not co-parent with the government," said Tess Van Dusen, event organizer.
Thousands are expected to gather at the California State Capitol at 10 a.m.
“The point of this protest is for the right of choice. We have a right to do what is best for our family - that’s the bottom line," said Amber Faddis, event organizer
School districts near Sacramento have release letters and statements to families and parents in preparation for the walkout.
Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD) sent out a letter to parents and families on Friday afternoon.
Twin Rivers Unified School District Superintendent Steve Martinez asked parents to consider alternatives to keeping their children out of school.
"Please consider that for 18 long months, the pandemic prevented having our schools open for all students, but now they are back. Please let us continue to educate them, in school and in person," Martinez wrote in a letter. "They do not need to miss school for voices to be heard. If you have strong feelings against vaccination mandates, consider sending an email or video message to the Governor and writing a letter to your elected representatives."
Colfax Elementary School Principal John Baggett wrote in a Facebook post that the pandemic has made running schools more complicated.
"We understand that families and students may have strong emotions and questions about COVID-19 safety measures, including masks, vaccine, and testing requirements. However, keeping children home from school to protest the potential COVID-19 vaccine requirement, as posts on social media are suggesting, would only result in lost learning time for your child. Our school funding will not be impacted by absences, but your child will be."
Auburn Union Elementary School District Superintendent Amber Lee-Alva wrote in a weekly newsletter update that she acknowledges people do not share the same views and opinions on the state mandates regarding masking, testing and COVID-19 vaccines.
"The decision and direction to mandate face coverings, testing and/or vaccines for all staff and students was a decision made by CDPH, NOT AUSD. Any messages of advocacy or acts of protest need to be directed at the source of the decision (CDPH), not AUSD. AUSD is required to follow the mandates, as are all districts and private schools in CA," Lee-Alva wrote.
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