SMMUSD Will Likely Require Staff Vaccinations, Masks and Weekly Tests This Fall

Written by on August 7, 2021

The superintendent of the local school district is asking the school board to require all staff to be vaccinated, and every person to wear masks, on SMMUSD campuses this fall.
Dr. Ben Drati is also recommending that the entire student population and all employees be tested for Covid 19 on a weekly basis this fall.
Drati said the law does not allow mandatory vaccinations for students. But he said he still strongly encourages students 12 and older to get vaccinated.
And he said the district will continue to make vaccines available on campus.
In an email to parents Saturday, Dr. Ben Drati said the number of the new, more infectious Covid-19 Delta variant, along with warnings from district experts has prompted his recommendation.
The school board will take this up at a special meeting Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m., on the Zoom platform.
Drati said “recommendations from the LA County Department of Public Health, consultation with our panel of health experts, and our first-hand experiences with having students on campus in the spring” prompted his conclusions.
He said he is recommending mandatory vaccinations for all eligible staff, universal indoor and outdoor mask-wearing, mandatory Covid 19 surveillance testing for staff and students on a weekly basis, and mandatory on-the-spot tests of any child or adult who comes down with illness symptoms on campus.
If ratified by the board, SMMUSD will be one step ahead of the nearby LA Unified School District, which requires weekly tests for all, but not mandatory vaccinations for teachers and staff.
Also locally, Pepperdine University encourages – but does not requite – Covid 19 vaccinations, although shots for all other childhood diseases have long been required. Pepperdine students may file a form stating their objections, to evade the shots and attend school there.

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