School District 91 Board of Education has decided not to proceed with the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all employees at this time. However, they are reserving the right to revisit the vaccine mandate at a later date.
The decision was taken at a closed meeting on Jan. 24.
In a Jan. 25 news release, officials said the decision follows careful consideration of numerous sources including an employee survey, legal information, K-12 Sector Vaccination Guidelines and Jan. 17 Public Health Order on employee disclosure.
79 percent of school staff completed the survey around this mandate.
“Trustees received considerable feedback and advice on this matter and the Board appreciated the many comments it received. It is clear that people, for and against the mandate, are very passionate in their viewpoints,” said Board Chair Dave Christie.
Christie further said, “the key drivers in the decision-making process were the health and safety of the employees and students, along with our ability to provide educational services. When Trustees analyzed all the information, it was evident a mandate would adversely impact the ability fo the school district to continue to provide consistent bussing, support services and classroom instruction.”
However, SD91’s Board of Education is unanimous in its support for vaccinations as a safe and effective way to reduce the risks associated with COVID.
The board has been discussing this matter internally for the past couple of months. This decision follows a provincial government decision allowing school districts to make up their own minds about whether employees should be vaccinated or not.