Decatur schools to require teachers get vaccinated against COVID-19

DECATUR, Ga. — The city of Decatur School District will soon require all teachers to get vaccinated in order to keep working in classrooms.

The board of education is also discussing requiring vaccination for students.

“I think they should do it,” parent Calvin Hynes said.

That seemed to be the resounding theme with every parent Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes spoke with on Wednesday about Decatur schools requiring teachers get the COVID-19 vaccination.

“We don’t need to keep spreading this thing around. So, yes, I think they should absolutely do that,” Hynes said.

“People don’t realize that those children need to be protected. And I think if you look at life, like, I want to protect myself as well as other people. You’d really want those teachers to have the vaccinations,” said Sally Brantley.

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Fernandes called the DeKalb Educators Association about this story on Wednesday, and they agreed with the move.

Board members James Herndon and Jana Davis said in Tuesday night’s meeting that it’s really a no brainer if safety is the No. 1 concern.

“I mean two teachers died in a county this weekend who were not vaccinated. If one of our teachers died, I’d lose it,” Herndon said.

“I support teacher vaccinations. I just think it’s the safest thing. We’ve been saying we’re going to do everything we can to keep students in the building and vaccinations are our best defense,” Davis said.

Their board’s legal team says they can do it, so the superintendent is drafting the new policy now. It will go into effect at the next meeting on Sept. 14.

When it comes to requiring student vaccinations, that has to come to a vote at that next meeting. If they push it through, all students 12 and older will have to get vaccinated.

“I would want the children to be required to. I just think it’s healthy for all and I want to get rid of this virus. And you know, they do pass it on even though they don’t get as sick,” Hynes said.

If a teacher has a health condition or religious beliefs that prevent them from getting vaccinated, it doesn’t mean they’ll lose their job.

It just means they can’t be in the classroom, and they’ll have to submit to COVID-19 testing weekly.

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