by Aimee Smith
Santa Barbara community members heeded the call from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense organization for a World Wide Walkout on vaccine mandates, passports and the attacks on all of our most basic and cherished rights. Hundreds gathered at noon in De La Guerra Plaza next to Santa Barbara City Hall.
A strong contingent of the gathering were the teachers and staff who are coming up on deadlines over the newly imposed vaccine mandates. Those who refused to reply to the privacy invading policy were put on unpaid leave as of this past Monday. The larger group of those resisting the policy have sought religious and medical exemptions but so far, there is no clear answer as to what accommodation if any they will receive, despite the clear legal requirement for reasonable accommodation for religious beliefs laid out in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. SBUSD faculty and staff are taking their case to court and hopefully they will prevail. Those who want to support them in their fight can learn more at their new website, UnifySB.com .
A couple dozen of the SBUSB faculty, staff and parents, with some of their children participating, started the day early with a standout outside the SBUSD district office at 7:45am with signs such as “Let me call my own shots” and “Stop the Mandate.” Later they marched together out to State Street then over to the noon gathering at De La Guerra Plaza where they joined with hundreds of others who are concerned about mask, testing and vaccine mandates in schools and workplaces and medical discrimination becoming commonplace in our society.
The News Press coverage splashed above and below the fold and included a good update of the legal situation our SBUSD school faculty and staff find themselves in. The case is gathering national prominence as Robert F. Kennedy Jr and his organization have signed on to the lawsuit.