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It’s the first day of class for students in Los Angeles Unified, the country’s second largest school district. Last week, California announced teachers would need to get vaccinated or get regularly tested. L.A.’s district just took that a step further, requiring that all teachers be vaccinated by Oct. 15.
For some students at the Henry T. Gage Middle School in Huntington Park, Monday will be a new experience.
“I would say like 75% of the school have never set foot on our campus,” said Don Luong, an 8th grade history teacher there.
Luong said he’s worried about kids spreading COVID to each other and bringing it home to their families in an area with already relatively high cases.
He said the vaccine requirement was the right call, but the district should have announced it earlier.
Farther south in Watts, L. Dranae Jones is a social studies teacher at King/Drew Medical Magnet High School.
“As much as I want to be focused on teaching, I’ve also got to be focusing on, ‘Are you wearing your mask properly?'”
She said she’s happy about the vaccination mandate, but is worried about the lack of social distancing in her classroom.
“You see all these chairs? There are 35 chairs in my classroom.”
Jones said she expects that getting teachers to be vaccinated won’t be a problem, but she does plan to try and persuade her students to get theirs.
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