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Cincinnati public school teachers could soon be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19


As the parent of two Cincinnati public school students, Roger Jackson is curious to see if district leaders will require teachers to get vaccinated against COVID-19."We've never been through this type of thing before," Jackson said. "It's like just shoot and see what happens, you know what I mean."Since a fully approved coronavirus vaccine is now part of the arsenal that could finally stop COVID-19 in its tracks, Jackson hopes teachers have to take the shot."Everybody's entitled to their own opinions and outcomes and what they choose to do," the father of two teenagers said. "But I feel like, you know, the kids and the teachers – because of their situation of being in such close contact every day -- I feel like they should."Jackson's view is shared by members of CPS' Board Policy and Equity Committee."I think I’m inclined to support a vaccine requirement," committee member Ben Lindy said.But Lindy isn't sure what a vaccine requirement for teachers and other workers in the district would look like."I think there are different choices about how we do it," Lindy said. "One is a blanket requirement. One is a requirement or a mask. One is a requirement or a test."If board members do implement a requirement, Julie Sellers, president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, wonders if it would apply to vaccine-eligible students 12 and older. Sellers also said she hopes vaccine reluctance won't lead to lost jobs."I don’t want to have to get into a legal battle over this," Sellers said. "I don’t want to go and have to justify this. But people have statutory rights on terminations."That's one of many issues the board needs to consider quickly, since colder air will soon force students and teachers into closer quarters indoors."There is a reason, medically, there's a reason seasonally, to be focused on it," committee member Eve Bolton said.After meeting Thursday, CPS' Board Policy and Equity Committee will meet again Sept. 13. That's when a vote on a vaccine requirement for CPS staff members could happen, meaning first shots would be required to go into teachers' arms as soon as the first day of October.

As the parent of two Cincinnati public school students, Roger Jackson is curious to see if district leaders will require teachers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"We've never been through this type of thing before," Jackson said. "It's like just shoot and see what happens, you know what I mean."

Since a fully approved coronavirus vaccine is now part of the arsenal that could finally stop COVID-19 in its tracks, Jackson hopes teachers have to take the shot.

"Everybody's entitled to their own opinions and outcomes and what they choose to do," the father of two teenagers said. "But I feel like, you know, the kids and the teachers – because of their situation of being in such close contact every day -- I feel like they should."

Jackson's view is shared by members of CPS' Board Policy and Equity Committee.

"I think I’m inclined to support a vaccine requirement," committee member Ben Lindy said.

But Lindy isn't sure what a vaccine requirement for teachers and other workers in the district would look like.

"I think there are different choices about how we do it," Lindy said. "One is a blanket requirement. One is a requirement or a mask. One is a requirement or a test."

If board members do implement a requirement, Julie Sellers, president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, wonders if it would apply to vaccine-eligible students 12 and older. Sellers also said she hopes vaccine reluctance won't lead to lost jobs.

"I don’t want to have to get into a legal battle over this," Sellers said. "I don’t want to go and have to justify this. But people have statutory rights on terminations."

That's one of many issues the board needs to consider quickly, since colder air will soon force students and teachers into closer quarters indoors.

"There is a reason, medically, there's a reason seasonally, to be focused on it," committee member Eve Bolton said.

After meeting Thursday, CPS' Board Policy and Equity Committee will meet again Sept. 13. That's when a vote on a vaccine requirement for CPS staff members could happen, meaning first shots would be required to go into teachers' arms as soon as the first day of October.


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