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Campbell River School District still considering staff vaccine policy

Will COVID-19 vaccination be required for Campbell River school district staff? It’s a question that’s of great interest locally, School District 72 says.

With this in mind, school board members are now addressing the public, as discussions about a possible vaccine policy for SD72 staff continue.

According to the board, labour issues cannot be discussed in public meetings. However, they did issue a statement, in regards to a policy, at their Oct. 26 public meeting. 

This past Tuesday, Chairperson John Kerr read the following statement on behalf of the board:

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“The subject of a proof of vaccination mandate for school employees was placed on boards of education by Premier Horgan in October. 

Since then, the Ministry of Education, the BC Public School Employers’ Association, BC School Trustees’ Association, CUPE, BC Teachers’ Federation, education steering committee and several other groups have established guidelines for sector policies. These guidelines have been circulated to all relevant groups and now boards are required to do the work outlined in the guidelines to determine whether they will implement a proof of vaccination mandate in their school districts. 

The School District 72 Board of Education intends to follow the process outlined in the guidelines before making any decisions on this matter.  

Not only are there five steps to follow, but each must be done thoroughly and thoughtfully. Before making a final decision, the board is required to gather data and evidence in alignment with privacy rules, confirm alignment with legal advice, public health guidance and orders, consult with employee groups and First Nations, and engage the community. When those steps are complete the board must decide whether or not to create a policy and announce a decision. 

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Please be assured that the board’s main concern is the health and safety of our students and employees. 

Finally, the board takes this matter very seriously and if it makes the decision to create a proof of vaccination policy for employees it will direct the superintendent to implement an operational plan. Any decision that the board makes will thoroughly consider the moral, legal, and labour implications of its actions. 

This will be a complex undertaking and we ask for forbearance and understanding as we go through this process.”

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