After-Action Report from SB School Board Leaders Who Pushed Through New Tough Mandate

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By Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers

The morning after, school board leaders Kate Ford and Laura Capps expressed calm certainty about pushing through a controversial, toughened Covid vaccine mandate for Santa Barbara Unified teachers and workers. Twelve hours earlier, they were denounced as "tyrants," ".communists" and "domestic enemies of the U.S," -- not to mention violators of the "Nuremberg Codes" - for doing so.

"The job is to be able to take the incoming," said Capps who, with board president Ford, checked in to discuss the new policy, and the extended and heated public comment about it at the trustees meeting on Thursday night.
 
The board unanimously approved the policy, which beefs up an earlier vaccine requirement for SBUSD employees, all of whom now must be fully immunized by Nov. 1. Previously, teachers and others had a choice of getting the shots, or of being tested weekly; the new resolution, passed after nearly three hours of public comment from more than 50 speakers, no longer allows testing to replace receipt of the vaccine.
 
The mandate allows exceptions for health risks, and religious beliefs.
 
Although the measure is limited to adults, the two board members told Newsmakers they expect to come forward with another change -- likely to be even more controversial -- that would require all students 12 and older to be vaccinated. "Probably within about six weeks," said Ford, when asked about the timing for such a proposal.
 
Amid the spike in Covid cases due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, the two were spurred by a small but significant outbreak at an unidentified elementary school: an unvaccinated teacher is believed to have infected three of their students with the virus.

"The carrots haven't been working," Capps said of vaccine policies that have encouraged, but not required, adults working for the district to get the shots. "This is a pandemic...a public health crisis," in which the most, and most severe, cases now are among the unvaccinated, she added.

Led by the two board members, the Santa Barbara school district has moved faster and further in imposing tough regulations on vaccines than any other local public agency; the county supervisors have passed an optional, vaccine-or-test policy, while the city of Santa Barbara has done nothing. Mayor Cathy Murillo said negotiations are continuing with City Hall unions.
 
Although the two shrugged off the passionate, and sometimes personal, attacks leveled at them over pandemic policies -- several speakers on Thursday night compared them and other board members to Nazi doctors doing sadistic experiments on concentration camp prisoners -- the anger and volatile rhetoric among vaccine opponents locally matches what is happening across the nation, as some school board members, who generally work for little or no pay, are quitting or not running, saying that the acrimony, insults and personal risks are not worth the effort.
 
"I've never seen anything like it," said Ford, who has worked for decades as a teacher, principal, superintendent and, now, board member, in Santa Barbara and other districts in California.
 
Check out our conversation with Kate Ford and Laura Capps via YouTube below, or by clicking through this link. The audio version is here.

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Bene Sep 26, 2021 03:36 PM
After-Action Report from SB School Board Leaders Who Pushed Through New Tough Mandate

"These people?" Who are all "these people?" I suspect you are railing against conservatives, but what do you think about the considerable numbers of young far left people who skip the vaccine because they don't think they'd get very sick if they get COVID and really don't care if they spread it to those who would? And sorry, you don't get to respond by labeling me a conservative anti vaxxer or some such. Cuz I'm not. But I like comments to be reasonable, logical, accurate and fair. Whether it fits anyone's agenda or not.

Basicinfo805 Sep 26, 2021 02:00 PM
After-Action Report from SB School Board Leaders Who Pushed Through New Tough Mandate

Threatening? Only if you consider political demise as such. That's what I'm talking about. Jeez. And I get all my vaccines. Totally believe in science. There isn't good science to support giving kids this shot in my opinion. To be labeled by Alex as an "anti-vaxx conspiracy freak" perfectly demonstrates the knee jerk ignorant name calling that's happening and is a huge part of the problem here.

Babycakes Sep 26, 2021 10:12 AM
After-Action Report from SB School Board Leaders Who Pushed Through New Tough Mandate

SBO: All we can do is to take care of ourselves. If you are vaxxed, and I am vaxxed, then we've done our job. Apparently, approximately 45% of the US is NOT partially/fully vaccinated, and the vast majority of these people are not far-right, self-proclaimed patriots...quite the opposite. Everyone needs a "boogeyman" to blame. Take care of your own medical needs as you see fit, and stop/stop/stop worrying about others (like 150 million "others"). Once we do that, you can continue with your life...and your mask. May peace find you in these trying times and within your heart.

SantaBarbaraObserver Sep 26, 2021 09:51 AM
After-Action Report from SB School Board Leaders Who Pushed Through New Tough Mandate

Society should never placate to the lowest common denominator in any public policy decision. What you are missing in your dime store analysis BCakes is that the Vaccinated, the masked are far more Patriotic and caring towards their fellow American than the selfish, the naive, the willfully ignorant AntiVa and the fake zealots...who by "believing" in their own reality put the entire society at risk. Nothing is less patriotic than the actions and the acts of these people. They deserve the scorn and the blow-back. They should also know that its only going to get worse for them. A lot worse...

Babycakes Sep 26, 2021 09:21 AM
After-Action Report from SB School Board Leaders Who Pushed Through New Tough Mandate

AlexBlue: You do realize that it's your people who are not vaccinated? They are certainly not "anti-vaxxers" as you like to refer to them as, rather these folks have a valid historical fear of government forcing things on them to their determent. So, your off-based theory of those who are not getting the jab is way off base. Like, waaaaaaaaaay off. A bit of advice as well: try kindness and love as an approach to those with whom you disagree.....you'll win more "arguments" that way. Peace to you my good friend.

SantaBarbaraObserver Sep 26, 2021 08:44 AM
After-Action Report from SB School Board Leaders Who Pushed Through New Tough Mandate

Alex, they are not only a threat, they're really, really, really dumb. But dont tell them. Their feelings will be hurt... and then they'll call you bad names and claim they're actually "super-duper" smart. Bigly smart! So instead, just do what their leaders do. Lie to them and steal their savings. Its the American way!

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