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Blaine County School Board discusses vaccine mandate for all staff

Lt Governor Janice McGeachin comments on Twitter about the school board’s discussion and proposal. She finds it, “incredibly offensive”
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:27 PM MDT
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BLAINE COUNTY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — This week the Blaine County School Board explored and discussed another solution to help keep kids in school for the remainder of the school year, and to keep staff safe and healthy.

During an emotional school board meeting Tuesday, trustees discussed a proposal that would require all district employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 who don’t qualify for a religious or medical exemption. In September, the trustees voted in favor of implementing a vaccination policy for all new hires.

The board didn’t vote on the proposal, and the board chairman Keith Roark said they may never need to. However, he felt it would be wise and responsible for something in place in case COVID-19 starts to impact kids’ ability to attend school and the health of their staff. Right now, school attendance is above 90%.

“If it becomes necessary for us to move forward with student achievement to adopt this policy, again I am speaking for myself, I am behind it all the way,” Roark said.

However, trustee Amber Larna felt the proposal was an unnecessary overreach, and staff should have a choice on whether or not they want to get vaccinated.

“They are wearing masks as we asked,” said Larna. “We have not seen school spread, and I feel at this point there is no reason we should be considering a mandate at this point.”

The school district’s Human Resource Director Brooke Marshal said according to a recent survey, more than 85% of respondents said they are fully vaccinated.

Lt Governor Janice McGeachin commented on Twitter about the school board’s discussion and proposal to have all employees vaccinated. She said she finds it, “incredibly offensive”, and “getting the vaccine must be a personal choice made free from coercion or mandates.” McGeachin is running for Governor of Idaho and this past Summer was very vocal about hospital systems requiring employees to be vaccinated for COVID.

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