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Calif. parents protest child vaccine mandate statewide

Randy Mancini 22 October 19, 2021
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, file photo, Evelyn Guillen with her three-year-old son, joins anti-vaccine protesters outside the Los Angeles Unified School District administrative offices in Los Angeles. Parents in California on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, had mixed reactions to Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for schoolchildren once they're fully approved by the FDA. Some welcomed the move as a way to keep children safe and classrooms open for learning and to try to put the pandemic behind. Others blasted the decision as premature, noting there is still no vaccine approved for the youngest children and questioning whether it's necessary. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, file photo, Evelyn Guillen with her three-year-old son, joins anti-vaccine protesters outside the Los Angeles Unified School District administrative offices in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Thousands of parents showed up at the California capitol on Monday to protest Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom’s upcoming child vaccine mandate, which would affect all public and private schools in the state.

As part of the protest, parents statewide kept their kids home from school, education employees called out and a handful of bus drivers also called out while refusing to drive their scheduled routes.

The backlash comes as California is the first state in the nation to announce requirements for students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend school in-person. If students refuse vaccination, they will be forced to complete independent studies at home.

People gathered in front of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office in downtown Bakersfield.

On Monday, October 18th, a statewide walk out is planned at schools across California to protest the potential vaccine mandate. https://t.co/10XrTmVBsj pic.twitter.com/94714PpzGE

— BakersfieldNow (@bakersfieldnow) October 18, 2021

Many of the parents said they aren’t against vaccines, but that they are against being forced to take one.

“Not anti-vax, just anti-vax mandates for school children,” stated Parisa Fishback of Moms on the Ground Organization. “It makes no logical sense for me to vaccinate my child for a virus that he is at very low risk of suffering severe injury or death from.”

Others say the mandate restricts basic freedom.

“Medical freedom is foundational to a free society,” said concerned parent Andrea Hedstrom. “We are not lab rats, my children are not lab rats.”

The mandate will reportedly go into effect starting the term following FDA full approval of the vaccine for kids’ specific grade levels and could come as early as January. However, some parents are complaining the vaccine hasn’t been out long enough.

“This is a new science, quote on quote, and it needs to be proven before we go and start injecting these little guys,” said Robbie Koolen, another concerned parent.

Despite the government pushing everyone to be vaccinated, health experts say children under 18 are still at a much lower risk of serious illness or death due to the virus. Meanwhile, many have deemed the vaccine mandate as a power grab.

“The government does not own my children and medical mandates are fascism,” Hedstrom continued. “And the government ends at my skin, and the government definitely ends at my children’s skin.”

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