The raging controversy over safe school reopenings got more heated when state and federal leaders said getting all teachers vaccinated is not a prerequisite for opening schools so long as there are mitigating, safety measures in place.
“I want nothing more than to be with my students again,” said Jessi Mortensen who teaches high school in the San Dieguito Union School District. "But I don't think we should do that at the sacrifice of anyone becoming ill when it’s avoidable."
"We have an alternative that keeps people safe and until it’s truly safe for everyone to return, I just don't think we should.” She said the availability of the vaccine is, “Right around the corner so why not wait?”
Ginny Merrifield, executive director of the Parents Association North County San Diego, said children cannot wait any longer.
“We’ve been out of school for 327 days today [Thursday] and students need to be back on campus,” she said.
As for political leaders speaking out about getting schools reopened without vaccinations but with safety protocols and support, she said “I think we've been saying this for a long time. I’m glad they finally recognized the message and they're making statements that are encouraging and I would say keep making those encouraging statements. We need everyone possible rolling in the same direction to open schools.”
The CDC has not released its official guidance on the vaccination of teachers, and what would be needed to safely reopen schools.