DECATUR, Ga. (CBS46) -- City of Decatur Schools decided Tuesday night to table talks on vaccine mandates for students, but will proceed with the requirement for its staff.
"This is a much bigger issue than for staff, it's a different thing when you're talking about employees that work for your school system versus students who attend your public school system," Superintendent Maggie Fehrman said in Tuesday's board meeting.
The announcement came after parents called in and showed up for public comment. Although a small turnout, it's impact seemed anything but. Two parents expressed concern over the mandate, while another parent spoke on behalf of herself and two others, praising the efforts.
"It's an over-reach of your authority and that is completely unacceptable." The mother added she supports covid vaccines, just not a requirement.
One father called in claiming, "we are putting all our eggs in just one basket focusing so much on the vaccine--masking, distancing, and other mitigation measures are working in our school."
In a September work session, all City Schools of Decatur board members agreed students and staff should be under vaccine mandates but Tuesday night, the district decided the quickest route would be only staff for now, requiring employee shots or a filed exemption by Oct 31.
When it comes to children, talks are expected to possibly resume next month. One parent applauded the school system for potentially doing what no other Georgia District has yet.
"Protecting our community with as many layers as possible is vital with the interventions we have." She continued, "it's the right decision."
Some other parents reportedly sent letters and emails voicing frustration and support of the mandates. Regardless, district leaders explained their own message has not changed.
"This board, we all agree that vaccines are the best way to get through this pandemic," Fehrman repeated.
Staff who believe they should not get the shot, according to the board, can file an exemption with the human resources department. If successful, the staff member would be required to get a daily covid test which the district would provide.
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