By Lauren DeMaria
A group of parents and community members called on the Westminster School District Board of Trustees to remove the vaccine mandate for students on Thursday night.
“If you do not stand up to this mandate, I will withdraw my kids from the Westminster School District, and that will break my heart,” said parent Robin Lopez during public comments.
Despite potential drops in enrollment, the district is legally obliged to comply with directions from the California Department of Public Health. Under an order by Gov. Gavin Newsom, all California students and school staff will be required to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by January 2022.
“As an elected office, we have boundaries of what we can and can’t do,” said Trustee David Johnson. “Some people may want to no longer be in public education, and that breaks my heart, but we really don’t have the authority to change what was flowed to us from the state,” he added.
The meeting concluded with the possible consideration of a recommendation that would urge the state to reconsider the mandate for students.
“Hearing all of these families talk so consistently about leaving, I just want to make clear that public education in this district, specifically, continues to be the best educational opportunity for all students,” said Trustee Jeremy Khalaf.
The WSD is a K-8 district serving most of Westminster, as well as portions of adjoining communities.