With the governor announcing he will require all state and school employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall, my office has received many emails and phone calls regarding this issue. To keep you updated, I wanted to share some information on these mandates, how he is allowed to do this and why I adamantly oppose his directives.
Let’s start with schools. What exactly is the governor mandating?
- Mask Mandate: Governor Inslee issued a statewide mask mandate requiring face coverings of all students and staff regardless of vaccination status and local COVID statistics
- Vaccine Mandate: At the urging of Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, Governor Inslee to implement a COVID vaccine mandate for all school employees. Some medical and religious exemptions will apply.
These orders apply to charter, public and private schools as well as higher educational institutes. Only tribal schools are exempt. Parents, teachers and school board members have no say in the implementation of these policies. All educational faculty and staff members must be fully vaccinated by October 18. If they are not, it could cost them their job.