By Taylor Brown
Member, SacCountyGOP Central Committee & School Districts Subcommittee

The Sacramento County Republican Party hosted its annual holiday reception at a beautiful home in Folsom on December 2nd. The topic of the evening was parental rights – in particular, the pending COVID vaccine mandate for children in public and private schools.

Featured speakers at this energizing event included Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who serves as Vice Chair of the Education Committee, along with Galt Joint Union Elementary School District Board President Thomas Silva and Folsom Cordova Unified School Board Member Josh Hoover.  We were also fortunate to have CA Board of Equalization Member Ted Gaines, Supervisor Sue Frost, Folsom Councilwoman Rosario Rodriguez, and Citrus Heights Councilmembers Schaefer and Daniels participating.

The interest in the topic is a sign of the times. Parents and taxpayers are now paying attention to the actions of school boards, and they are concerned about the rights being taken away from parents.

The governor’s reaction to the pandemic has had a dramatic impact on schools across the state, demanding that students as young as 5 years old be fully vaccinated by the start of the next school year. As Kiley, Silva, and Hoover remarked, Newsom is having conversations with legislators, who will return to session in January, about the vaccine requirement and personal belief, religious and medical exemptions. They each encouraged us to speak up and contact our representatives to fight for our medical freedoms.

Schools around the state, including some in Sacramento County, have sent out letters and passed resolutions regarding the Governor’s vaccine mandate – most in opposition to the mandate, and all with concerns about enforcement. Here is a link to a sampling of resolutions from school districts around the State. Galt School District’s letter to legislators in support of parental rights can be found at this link

Now is the time to take action – before the Legislature returns in January. You can help make a difference for parents and taxpayers by doing these things:

  • Call or write your Assemblymember and State Senate immediately and demand school districts maintain control over management of COVID. Find Sacramento area phone numbers and addresses at this link. State Legislators
  • Before the deadline of July 1, express your opposition to opting into vaccine mandates at your local school board meetings.
  • Consider running for school board in 2022 We need candidates who will put kids first!
  • Sign up for action alerts on our school districts webpage.

Sample language below:

As your constituent, I urge you to support the right of parents to decide to vaccinate their children if they feel it is in their best interest:  

  • Most schools have successfully operated in-person learning without vaccines and mandates for most of the year 
  • Children are not generally at risk of hospitalization or death from a COVID-19 infection
  • Currently, there are no FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines for children through age 15. The Pfizer-BioNTech product has only received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration
  • A person’s right to refuse medical treatment is a constitutional right that must not be taken away. 

As the battle for medical freedom and parental rights grows, our Party will continue to keep you in the loop so you know exactly what actions school boards are taking to address the vaccine mandate and how you can make a difference.

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Joe Hong, CalMatters (10-6-21)

“A possible bill, Pan said, would add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of already required immunizations for both public and private school students. Then it would be treated like the other 10 vaccine requirements that don’t allow for a personal belief exemption under SB 277.”

“The problem with the personal belief exemption is that if there are too many people who use it, we’ll have schools that are unsafe,” he said. “We need to be sure kids can stay in school and learn and not have to be sent home for two weeks.”

Tawnell D. Hobbs, The Wall Street Journal (11-10-21)

“Medical exemptions for kindergarten students jumped in California from 993 in the 2015-16 school year to 4,249 in 2019-20, despite a population drop, the latest federal data shows. The increases began after the state ended the personal-belief exemption.”

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