LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Clark County School Board voted 5-1 to approve a resolution granting Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara the ability to develop a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all school district employees.
Trustees Linda Cavazos, Lisa Guzman, Evelyn Garcia Morales, Irene Cepeda, and Lola Brooks voted in favor of the resolution, Trustee Danielle Ford voted against the resolution, and Trustee Katie Williams was not present for the vote, which came early Thursday morning.
The vote came after an impassioned five-hour public comment session, in which an overwhelming majority of speakers expressed strong opposition to the vaccine mandate. One CCSD teacher even openly resigned on the spot to share an overall disdain for the idea of immunization mandates.
“I don’t want to have a board deciding what I can do with my body,” CCSD teacher Autumn Medina told 8 News Now.
“We have to grow up and stop throwing tantrums like five-year-olds,” another person conversely said during public comment. “Over a vaccine.”
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara spoke out during Wednesday’s event to share his perspective and cite a surge in coronavirus infections across our community.
“The best medically available mitigation strategy we currently have,” Dr. Jara said to the audience during the public meeting. “Is the vaccine.”
Dr. Jara also made it clear that a “yes” vote from the board to mandate staff immunization would simply be the first step in a well-thought-out plan.
“The authority that I am requesting is to allow me as the superintendent to develop a plan,” Dr. Jara explained. “And process necessary to implement the full vaccination of our staff.”
Regardless, many who attended the meeting downtown said any mandate would go against their medical choice.
“I think you need to start listening to the people in the audience,” one person said during the public comment portion of Wednesday’s meeting. “The people that are on social media that are speaking out.”
Therefore, they urged district leaders to decide against it.
“I think it would be a real disaster for our community,” Medina concluded.
Around 60 percent of the district’s approximately 42,000 employees have provided proof of vaccination thus far. A mandate would require the remainder of teachers and staff to begin the vaccination process, though the district has not provided a potential timeline.
As of Wednesday, CCSD reported 1,651 total cases of COVID-19 among district employees and students. Elementary school students make up the largest percentage of positive tests at 47.3 percent of all cases.
Dr. Jara made it clear Wednesday that any mandate that was discussed only applies to staff and does not include students.