The Examiner U-46 News Feed
U-46 supports vaccination but can’t mandate its use
By Seth Hancock
School District U-46 is encouraging families to submit their children for the COVID-19 vaccine, but it says it can’t require it as the Board of Education discussed the next school year at a May 24 special meeting.
The vaccines have only been given “emergency use” authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. The vaccine has been approved for those 12 and up.
Regarding next school year, board member Kate Thommes asked: “What if a child is eligible for a vaccination and their family’s choosing to not have them vaccinated… because it’s their personal philosophy or whatever?”
“We don’t have control over that,” said Superintendent Tony Sanders who said all students will return to in-person learning next year unless an underlying health condition qualifies them for a distance academy.
Mask mandates are expected to continue next year, Sanders said, despite the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which does not have legal authority to mandate mask wearing regardless of vaccination status, stating vaccinated Americans do not need to wear a mask.
“We don’t really have a way of knowing whether students are vaccinated or are not,” Sanders said. “There’s no mandate for students to be vaccinated, there’s no tracking as a school system.”
Students have to fill out a self-certification form before attending school in which those 12 and older are asked if they’ve been vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated, but Sanders said “there’s no requirement for them to tell us.” He claimed: “If everybody gets vaccinated, we’ll be in a much better place.”