Richmond Mayor and Superintendent Disagree with Reversal of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate – Community News

Richmond Mayor and Superintendent Disagree with Reversal of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – It’s another altercation between the mayor of Richmond and the Richmond school board. This time on the board’s decision to undo a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“We don’t think it’s a school district’s place to pay and/or fire teachers, especially now that we’re in the midst of this staffing crisis,” said Richmond School Board’s Jonathan Young.

Monday night, the school board removed disciplinary action from a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all school staff. It was similar to Mayor Levar Stoney’s decision for all city personnel under his control.

“You can’t issue a public health mandate and then rip the teeth out. It’s essentially the school board that’s now asking 29 out of about 3,000 people, please get the vaccine,” said Richmond City Mayor Levar Stoney.

School board members said the change was due to more than two dozen recent resignations.

“There was no point in pushing so many of our teachers out of the district as we go through this staffing crisis that we now have 100 teacher vacancies,” said Young.

Although he voted for the reversal, school board member Jonathan Young says everyone should get a vaccine, adding that he has his vaccine.

“I don’t like the idea that my own children, let alone someone else’s children, might be going to school with staff who are not vaccinated,” said Jason Kamras, chief superintendent of public schools in Richmond.

Now the inspector is informing staff about the policy change so that those who are still unsure about the vaccine need not worry, but Kamras disagrees with the decision.

If those who resigned want to come back, Kamras says they can.

“I can’t promise anyone that their exact positions will still be available and so they should understand that it’s not as easy as saying yes, I’d like to come back, but we would welcome everyone,” Kamras said.

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