LA school district fires nearly 500 employees who refused to get COVID-19 vaccine
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on Tuesday unanimously voted to terminate the contracts of 496 employees who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, The Associated Press reported.
The now-fired employees had been on leave since mid-October when LAUSD staffers were supposed to have received at least their first vaccine dose, with employees required to receive their second dose by Nov. 15, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
The 496 terminated LAUSD employees made up 1 percent of the district’s approximately 73,000 workers, according to the AP.
Of the 496 former employees, 418 of them were classified as non-credentialed but critical staff employees, such as instructional aides, custodians and cafeteria workers.
In a statement, Megan Reilly, the LAUSD’s interim superintendent, said firing the 496 employees who refused to get the shot was an “extremely difficult” decision.
“Parting ways with individuals who choose not to be vaccinated is an extremely difficult, but necessary decision to ensure the safety of all in our school communities,” Reilly said in a statement. “We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”
This comes as thousands of LAUSD students have not yet complied with the vaccine mandate as the Jan. 10 deadline looms for them to be fully vaccinated before the start of the second semester, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The LAUSD is one several school districts in the state to adopt their own rules requiring students to get vaccinated ahead of a statewide policy that will take effect after federal officials fully approve the immunizations by age group, the AP reported.
In a statement Wednesday, the LAUSD said 85 percent of the district’s 600,000 students are in compliance with the mandate that those 12 years and older should be vaccinated, the AP noted.
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