Shaker Heights school board votes to mandate vaccinations for teachers, staff


SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – The Shaker Heights school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all teachers and staff.

The policy will affect only staff and teachers, not students. Starting next month, they will be required to at least get the first COVID vaccination shot in order to stay employed, with few exceptions.

Several parents and teachers in the Shaker Heights School District spoke out at the board meeting.

“I’m asking in the best interest of the school… I implore you all to make the staff be vaccinated,” one parent told the board members.

“There is a war on freedom, medical freedom… People across the country and around the world are being forced at the risk of losing their jobs to take an injection,” said a middle school teacher who addressed the board.

“The idea is to get people vaccinated to keep themselves safe and to help, frankly, do our role in the community to stop COVID spread as well,” said Shaker Heights School District spokesman Scott Stephens.

Stephens tells FOX 8 that there will be exemptions for people with “medical and religious objections.”

“Our teachers’ union and leaders of our other unions, our other collective bargaining units were in the planning with us, they were at the table with us when we drafted this policy,” said Stephens.

Although several staff members are against the policy, school officials say the district already has a high rate of vaccination.

“We do not expect a problem because we have a very, very high rate of vaccination already among our staff… more than 80% of the overall staff, more than than 90% of teachers,” Stephens said.

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