November 23, 2021 |
Wyoming is unlikely to follow California and some school districts in other states in requiring Covid shots for student admission to public schools.
As it was last year with face coverings, California was the first in the nation this year in requiring jabs for staff and children.
Wyoming officials are charting an independent course through the confusing national pandemic policies that define the end of 2021. Booster shots for the willing, forced jabs for the unwilling, even shots for kids as young as five — and no end to masks: It’s a hot mess.
Wyoming’s top elected officials are emphasizing personal choice over government edicts. Governor Mark Gordon launched three lawsuits against the Biden administration over the federal vaccine mandates.
Wyoming School Superintendent Jillian Balow told Bigfoot 99 that she also is opposed to vaccine mandates.
Pictured above: Wyoming School Superintendent Jillian Balow. Courtesy photo.
As the head of the Wyoming Department of Education, Balow oversees an agency that would be impacted by any federal orders calling for a vaccine. And like any large workplace in the nations, employees are from diverse backgrounds and don’t all share the same beliefs.
The next push for the Covid shot is aimed at children. The FDA gave the Pfizer gene therapy shot emergency authorization for use on children ages 5-15 years old and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older.
The vaccination of kids is well under way: The White House announced last week that an estimated 10 percent of children in that age group have received their first shot. National Public Radio openly asked the question over the weekend: Should schools require the Covid gene therapy drug? NPR used the term “vaccine” for the Covid shot, making it seem more akin to the battery of traditional inoculations for polio, MMR and chickenpox that create immunity. In September, the CDC replaced the word “immunity” from its official description of vaccines with “protection.” That scientific conclusion is still out.
Still, California has become the first state to announce that it will add the Covid shot to its required list for all school children. A handful of districts in 14 states are making similar moves, starting with mandates for student-athletes to participate in sports. The Wyoming School Superintendent is a hard “no” on requiring the shots for K-12 students.
Balow said the politics of the pandemic has been hard on everybody over the last 20 months. Education has not been exempt in spite of its efforts to put new practices and policies in place to mitigate the impacts of the virus.
Balow added that local school boards have the flexibility to respond to situations in their communities without the need for mandates handed down from Washington. The superintendent said the best decisions are made at the local level.
Although Governor Mark Gordon signed off on six-months of public health orders in 2020 during the first coronavirus wave, he took a different tactic this year. He resisted state orders on businesses and public gatherings. The state even sued the White House over vaccine mandates. In a recent Faceboook post, the governor welcomed the nationwide injunction against OSHA’s forced jab for workers at medium and large businesses. The governor commented that “we will continue to fight these unlawful federal policies.”
Related: CCSD2 applying for mask variance