(File photo)

(File photo)

Central Okanagan school board to review implications of vaccine mandate

Board chairs to meet with Ministry of Education tomorrow

The Central Okanagan Board of Education will soon review the implications that a staff vaccine mandate could have on local schools.

In a statement, the board said its trustees were surprised to find out that each school district can mandate COVID-19 vaccination for their employees on their own, rather than it being a provincial decision. B.C. Premier John Horgan said on Oct. 7 that elected board trustees know best what’s needed in terms of mandates for their schools.

“We know that getting immunized against COVID-19 is the most important safety measure people can take to protect themselves and those around them,” board of education chairperson Moyra Baxter said.

“We also know that mandating vaccines for all staff carries many implications, so as a board we must consider this important decision carefully and with a full knowledge of the potential consequences.”

READ MORE: Mandatory vaccination for B.C. school staff up to boards, says B.C. premier

Educational board chairs from across the province will be meeting with the Ministry of Education to discuss these implications tomorrow, Oct. 14. SD23 superintendent and CEO Kevin Kaardal will compile a report that will detail the potential impact of a vaccine mandate on Central Okanagan staff, which will be submitted to the board of education.

“Since we provide governance for our district, we have a duty of responsibility to consider the rights of everyone in our district when making impactful decisions,” Baxter said.

“As a board, we continue to prioritize the safety of all staff and students. As we discuss and consider this significant decision, we will notify our community each step of the way.”

The board will be discussing the matter at tonight’s (Oct. 13) meeting.

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