Vaccine / Testing Requirement for Teachers

Sasha Van Leeuwen, Correspondent

On August 6, 2021, Mayor David Martin held a press conference announcing that all Stamford Public Schools employees must be vaccinated or subject to weekly negative testing. The mandate went into effect September 7th.

“I think that getting the vaccination is important for your own health and I see it as somewhat of a civic duty,” said English Teacher Matthew Kimmel. “If people are choosing not to get a vaccination, it is reasonable that they are being asked to get tested consistently for their own safety and the safety of everyone in the building.”

Given the rise in coronavirus cases at the time of the mandate, many believe that it is an effective step in returning to normalcy.

“I think it’s a good idea because it’s keeping the students safer and we’ll feel more comfortable in the classroom having one less thing to worry about.” said junior Max Guttman.

In addition to the vaccine mandate, SPS has required that all students and staff wear protective face coverings or face masks that completely cover the nose and mouth.

“Masks can be annoying but I think in any indoor room with people close together, especially in school, they should be taken seriously,” said Junior Isabella Teasdale. “”I don’t understand why anyone who has the privilege and availability to get the vaccine in America wouldn’t considering how in other countries there’s little to no vaccines, unless you have a medical risk.”

When being interviewed, many teachers wished to remain anonymous with their opinions.

“I do think that every teacher and student should be required to receive the vaccination to keep us safe,” said an anonymous source. “We have to be vaccinated for measles and all these other vaccines to attend school, what makes this one any different?”

However, opinions among the SHS body are fairly divided about the mandate, with some opposing it and believing it is immoral.

“I have it, but I think teachers should have every right to choose to be vaccinated or not” said a teacher who wished to remain unnamed. “I have a lot of respect for teachers who worked throughout the pandemic while there was no vaccine, and I’m glad our district policy is more forgiving than other areas in that they aren’t firing teachers who aren’t yet vaccinated, because they are a really good resource for our students.”

Nonetheless, it seems the majority of the SHS body supports the mandate, believing that it is the best step towards lowering our transmission rates within school and creating a less Covid-filled future.