The Langley School District won’t mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for staff.
The trustees met in camera Tuesday, Nov. 9 and voted not to proceed with a mandate.
“The board discussed the information provided by Fraser Health, the guidelines from the provincial advisory committee, and the potential implications a vaccine mandate would have on student learning and district operations,” board chair Rod Ross said in an announcement Friday afternoon.
UPDATE FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS/STUDENTS: Please visit your school or District website to view a message from the Langley Board of Education providing an update on the vaccine mandate for staff. See image or read here: https://t.co/Z6XndAXtJv#MySD35Community pic.twitter.com/yVQqzhm6v5— Langley Schools (@LangleySchools) November 12, 2021
The board decided the benefits do not outweigh the risks, he said.
“We know there are many layers of protection in our district and that schools are low-risk settings for transmission,” he said. “Our public health experts have informed us the majority of COVID-19 exposures in schools are driven by transmission in the community.”
The district will continue to encourage vaccination.
As a board, we strongly believe vaccinations are a key layer of protection to help keep students, staff and families in our community healthy and safe,” Ross said. “We will continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. Moving forward, we will be working with our employee partner groups and parent community to further promote vaccinations to staff and students.
Langley follows the path of other B.C. school districts that have recently said they would not require staff to get the jabs, including Surrey, New Westminster, Vancouver, Mission and Chilliwack. The provincial government left the decision up to school districts and so far, no district has said it would being in a vaccination requirement.
A survey from the B.C. Teachers’ Federation found that 94 per cent of teachers are fully vaccinated, while only two per cent of members said they were unvaccinated, one per cent are partially vaccinated pending their second dose and four per cent did not respond.
- With files from Surrey Now
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