A REVIVAL: VACCINE MANDATES IN SCHOOL
A quiet but powerful parents-rights movement began in California in 2021. It started from just a seed as the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for school attendance during the 2021/22 school year began circulating through the State Capital. While many parents begrudgingly complied with school COVID closures and mask mandates, the subject of complying with a vaccine mandate became a red line. Advocacy groups sprung up in every corner of the state, on all social media platforms, and in every school board meeting.
Parental pushback seemed to win the day as the 2021/2022 school year got underway. However, many did not realize that the looming Senate Bills were simply delayed until federal health authorities could bolster the state’s case to implement them. The parental rights movement began to relax and life seemed to get back to normal. The urgency for parents to find an alternative to a difficult problem - educating their kids 6+ hours a day outside of the state’s primary system, subsided. Unfortunately, vaccine mandates have consistently been a snake in the grass and as soon as public attention relaxes, parents are bound to be bit.
On October 20, 2022, the CDC issued a press release: “Today, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended updates to the 2023 childhood and adult immunization schedules, which includes incorporating additional information for approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines. CDC only makes recommendations for use of vaccines, while school-entry vaccination requirements are determined by state or local jurisdictions”. While this recent recommendation does not affect every state or local jurisdiction, states like California are bound to use the recommendation as the basis for a mandate. The state of California has a history of vaccination laws for state funded education, and it has taken recent events to shine a light on the growing threat to parent’s rights.
In 2015, when the California government passed Senate Bill 277, which removed personal belief as an exemption from the vaccine requirements, many families were either left out of their right to public education or were forced to obtain a medical exemption. Fast forward to our recent COVID times, and more aggressive targeting of non-compliant parents by the democrat-led vaccination group in the State Senate got underway. This included the targeting of family doctors and other non-compliant physicians. Through legislation, they restricted a doctor’s ability to produce medical exemptions. Exceptions plummeted. This action, in correlation with the CDPH (California Department of Public Health) “Shots for School” website and the accompanying Reporting Site, has forced every state funded school in California to track, trace, and discriminate against students, students’ families, and possibly the students’ doctors based upon vaccination status. Many families who had medical exemptions lost them under this new wave of vaccination enforcement, thus they were left with no option but to withdraw from state funded education. These families experienced the first taste of what the rest of us will likely face with the coming COVID 19 vaccine requirement.
According to the CDPH’s website: “COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for students are postponed until at least the 2023–2024 school year. Please continue your efforts to help students catch up and stay up to date with COVID-19 and other routine immunizations”. Coupling their push for the shot with the language of California’s Health and Safety Code regarding immunizations, Section 120335 (B)(11) - “Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians”, we begin to see the pathway for state lawmakers requiring the shot for public education.
So where do we go from here?
This continued assault on parent’s rights, though discouraging, is not ALL doom and gloom. As long as parents resume their fight against the machine and organize their resistance together, a revival can take place. That revival can manifest in two ways -
First, the trajectory of it all could be stopped when met head on with robust resistance - peacefully, and with strength and wisdom, we say, “No”.
The second possibility is that the people pull their children out of the public school system. A loss of attendance within the schools will cause them to become financially insolvent. Though this outcome seems the darkest, it has the possibility of creating the best outcome: out of a collapsed school system, which has been in decline for some time based on performance alone, something new and improved may form. There will be vested interest from parents and community members within our great state to provide new opportunities and avenues through which our youth may learn far beyond what they are taught now. At the very least, our children will learn, experience, and take with them important concepts of community, knowledge, and critical thinking.
We could be headed in a far better direction than we might imagine. But all good harvests come from seeds that are nurtured. Parents and non-parent citizens alike must be willing and ready to take part in the revival - whatever that may be - and of course, pray.