In a unanimous vote, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) fired nearly 500 employees that were not compliant with its COVID-19 vaccination regulations, Tuesday.

The district has roughly 73,000 employees and many of the 496 who refused the COVID-19 vaccination were already placed on unpaid leave after not meeting the October 15 deadline.

LAUSD Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly called the decision to have employees fired “extremely difficult,” but also said it was necessary.

“Parting ways with individuals who choose not to be vaccinated is an extremely difficult, but necessary decision to ensure the safety of all in our school communities,” Reilly said in a statement. “We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors and encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

The employee mandate was set by the district itself, and is separate from the city, county and state’s vaccination orders.

Back in August, United Teachers Los Angeles, who represent teachers in L.A., showed support for the district’s vaccination mandate.

“I am the parent of an LAUSD fifth-grader, and my family has been going through the same uncertainty and anguish as so many other families as we approach the return to school,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said. “Because of the protocols that UTLA educators and LAUSD families fought for and won, LA Unified has among the strictest COVID safety protocols in the country. But this Delta variant is unlike anything we have seen so far in this crisis — especially its impact on children — and we all need to step up to do our part to protect the most vulnerable among us.

The school district also said that 85% of its students have been vaccinated against COVID-19.


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