California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on October 1st that COVID-19 vaccine mandates will be effective starting 2022 for all California students.
After a year without in-person classes, all California students were finally able to return to school for the 2021-2022 school year for full-time instruction. With COVID cases rising, California’s Governor is requiring students to be fully vaccinated starting January 2022.
At Bell High School, students are required to get COVID tested every Monday, as well as required to wear masks at all times throughout the school day except when eating lunch. Bell High students are required to be fully vaccinated by Monday, January 10th, 2022.
If students are not fully vaccinated by the deadline, or if students refuse to get the vaccine, they will be automatically placed into City of Angels, which is Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) online and independent school, and automatically unenrolled from Bell High School.
Due to social media, there has been much false news about the COVID vaccines. “This isn’t the Hunger Games, they don’t put tracking devices in you,” senior Suncee Marshall said.
“Protest shouldn’t happen,” senior Gustavo Cardoso said.
Since the vaccines were mandated for students 12 and over, there have been many protests throughout California. On Monday morning, October 18, 2021, three adults protested outside of Bell High School, holding signs while blocking school entrances.
According to KTLA 5, parents protested against the LAUSD mandate for the vaccine on Sunday, December 5th. Parents were frustrated about their kids not being able to continue in-person classes. On the KTLA 5 website local superintendent Frances Baez said, “It’s very important for our students to be vaccinated because we want to continue to have a safe campus and a safe learning environment for our students.¨
Many Bell High students and staff have different opinions about the vaccine. “For the people who are against the vaccine, I fully respect their choices but I don’t agree with them,” ALPHA teacher Ms. Mejia said.
In addition, students and staff have gained fear over the percentage of students attending Bell. Twenty-three thousand students attend Bell, and 10% are not vaccinated.