‘Evaluate your role in the community and what you mean to these kids,’ some parents want COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for teachers

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DUNLAP, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois schools are reverting to in-class learning, and teachers are not required to get vaccinated. Some parents are concerned, calling the move risky.

Nearly 100% of Peoria County’s school districts are back in the classroom– with the option of virtual classes.

But parents like Brittnee Hopkins say they are on the fence because teachers and school staff are not required to get vaccinated, and it does not have to be reported.

“It’s in their best interest and the children’s best interest. So if they are not going to (get vaccinated), I think they should disclose that they are not going to get vaccinated,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins said her five-year-old daughter Evelynne is in the classroom again at Preschool For All in Peoria.

“Evaluate your role in the community and what you mean to these kids and society as a whole. The lack of socialization these kids are going to have by not being in school because their teachers are infected and not getting vaccinated [is not good],” she said.

The Regional Superintendent for Peoria County, Beth Crider, told WMBD medical information about teachers and school staff is private.

“Healthcare choices are just that. They are choices that an individual can make, [and] we will not be forcing it at this time{..}We are just encouraging at this time,” Crider said.

Peoria County has 18 public school districts.

Data from a Peoria County Regional Office of Education survey shows at least four districts are estimated to be more than 50% vaccinated.

Schools that participated in the survey were:

  • Peoria Public Schools District 150: 75% of teachers and staff estimated to be vaccinated
  • Hollis Consolidated District 328: 60% of teachers and staff estimated to be vaccinated
  • Dunlap Community Unit School District 323: 86% of teacher and staff estimated to be vaccinated
  • Peoria Heights Community Unit School District 325: 60% of teachers and staff estimated to be vaccinated

Because of HIPAA, districts did not have to participate in the survey.

President Joe Biden said earlier this week he wants all teachers and school staff vaccinated by the end of March, but he has not made it mandatory.

The regional superintendent said making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for teachers and staff would have to come from the state.

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