Parents are encouraged to vaccinate their children, but most would like a say in the matter.
Maribel Duarte alleges her 13-year-old was vaccinated at an elite preparatory academy in South Los Angeles after being offered pizza. She says the school should’ve gotten written consent before offering the shot to her son. It’s not clear how the vaccine was administered to the child, but it seems he just couldn’t resist a slice of pie.
Shots for School
Duarte was surprised when her son came home from school vaccinated even though the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) sent a message to parents requiring them to have their children vaccinated by January 10, 2022. According to the mandate, any child over the age of 12 not vaccinated by the imposed deadline will have to participate in virtual learning instead of attending classes in person.
The statement read, “Attention families of students aged 12 or older—this is your reminder to get your child vaccinated. Your first dose must be uploaded into Daily Pass no later than December 19, 2021. Both doses must be uploaded before January 10, 2022!”
At least two parents have issued lawsuits over the LAUSD mandate.
Duarte said she is not anti-vaccine and has the shot herself but was waiting to have her child vaccinated due to a preexisting condition.
“Regarding my son’s health, I am against it,” she said. “He has problems with asthma and allergy problems.”
She wishes the school wouldn’t have asked for permission before giving out the shot.
“I should have been involved. The lady that gave him the shot and signed the paper was the one who told my son, ‘Please do not say anything, I don’t want to get into trouble,’” she said.
Attorney Jennifer Kennedy has been following the lawsuits filed against the school district. She criticized the schools for asking children for consent instead of their parents.
“These grotesque contests and displays of treatment and candy and gifts and favors, raffles and cash prizes inducing the kids to the vaccination. Here is the problem, kids in California cannot consent to vaccination,” she said.
Kennedy added that the LAUSD does not have the power to add a vaccine shot to the California school schedule.
“You couldn’t do it if you were a po-dunk school district and you can’t do it if you’re LAUSD, the second-largest district in the nation. You don’t have that legal authority,” she said.
She also commented on how these mandates can create a negative atmosphere in schools.
“Even the existence of the mandates in the schools has created these environments of pressure and bullying, segregation and discrimination and accidental vaccination of kids without parental consent,” she continued.
As of Thanksgiving break, LAUSD says that 80% of all eligible children have been vaccinated.
A spokesperson for the school district couldn’t confirm the incident or how the vaccine was offered to the child.
“With the Jan. 10, 2022, student vaccination deadline approaching, the District introduced the Safe Schools to Safe Steps Incentive Program throughout Los Angeles Unified Schools. This program offers incentives to families who upload proof of their vaccine, have an approved medical exemption, or have conditional admissions,” the spokesperson said.
“Vaccinations are an essential part of the multi-layered protection against COVID-19 to keep our students safe and healthy for in person instruction,” they added.
Despite the mandate, Duarte feels the school overstepped its ground.
“It hurt to know he got a shot without my permission, without knowing and without signing any papers for him to get the shot,” she said.