Milwaukee Public Schools one step closer to vaccine mandate for teachers, staff

Posted at 10:21 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 23:21:53-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Schools is one step closer to requiring teachers and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

At a committee meeting Tuesday, the group voted unanimously to move a resolution forward that would require the administration to report back on the legality and enforceability of such a mandate.

As written, the resolution would mandate vaccines among staff with very few exceptions. If an exception is granted, those who are unvaccinated must be tested for COVID-19 once a week.

School Board Member Bob Peterson introduced the resolution, arguing that “without healthy teachers and staff, we will not have healthy students or quality, in-person learning. If our community can worry about and take steps to protect Summerfest goers, I think we as a school board should feel empowered to put health and safety of our students first and support a vaccination requirement at MPS.”

Bob Peterson
Bob Peterson

Shunda Davis, an employee at the district, was against the mandate and spoke at the meeting. “I believe vaccination is a private and personal choice. Currently vaccinated people are still getting COVID. I don’t believe anyone’s job should have a right to mandate what people do with their bodies,” Davis said.

A parent who called the district’s return to school plan “foolish optimism” said incentives for staff getting the vaccination should not be based on finances but health.

“Number 1, not dying of COVID-19. Number 2, not infecting innocent children with COVID-19 and potentially causing their deaths. And Number 3, keeping your job,” said Ron Jansen.

The resolution called for the administration to research and come up with a plan by the October meeting of the committee. District Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley asked that a preliminary report be done by September.

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