COVID, the California Value-Added Database System, is a database that tracks employee performance and retention information to help LAUSD staff plan for their future. Despite several workers being terminated because they were unable to gain COVID certification before this policy was enacted, other employees have been able to gain certification after receiving layoff notices.
(CBSLA) – GRANADA HILLS (CBSLA) – Several workers at a Granada Hills charter school in the Los Angeles Unified School District were the first district employees to lose their jobs after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
(Photo courtesy of CBS)
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Iris Arnold said, “I was officially terminated.”
Arnold claims she was fired from her 15-year teaching career at Granada Hills Charter High School after failing to acquire the coronavirus vaccination. She is one of seven high school workers who have filed a complaint alleging that they were the first to be dismissed for failing to obtain the picture.
She said that personal convictions as well as medical considerations kept her from receiving the vaccination.
Sarah Olczak was also fired for failing to get the immunization. She’s worked at the school for 13 years as a counselor.
“My desires were religious in nature… firmly held religious beliefs, as well as medical evidence. Then there’s the fact that I’ve had cancer before,” Olczak said.
Although Granada High School is a charter school, it is subject to LAUSD’s vaccination requirement. The policy, according to administrators, is in place to safeguard everyone on each school.
When questioned whether they were worried about putting children and other district staff in risk if they had the virus, Arnold said she’s never tested positive and that she tests every week and is prepared to test daily if necessary.
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“Everyone has had a rough time, and we always want to point the finger at someone.” “It’s quite simple to point the finger at those who aren’t doing their share,” Olczak said. “However, I can guarantee you that I do my bit to keep everyone around me safe since I’m not looking to become ill because I have a weakened immune system.”
The personnel at Granada Hills Charter lost their jobs after confirming they would not get the immunizations, according to Granada Hills Charter.
In a statement, the school said, among other things:
“In this respect, (our) decisions were directed first and foremost by what is legal and in the best interests of safeguarding the health and safety of its students, workers, and the surrounding community.”
Jessical Levison, a professor of law at Loyola University Chicago, commented on how these sorts of situations often play out in court.
“Medical exemptions may open up a lot of doors if you can find doctors willing to sign affidavits stating, ‘This individual should not have a vaccination.’”
We know that at least one of the seven workers at Granada Charter did not get that papers. For the time being, though, while the legal struggle continues, the aftermath becomes emotional.
“Because I’m the counselor, I go with my gut instincts. It’s really…you know it’s coming, even if it’s sort of anticipating sadness. “We’ve been warned, we’ve been warned, but it’s still startling when it happens,” Olczak added.
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Before the decision to terminate the now-former workers, at least one member of the charter school’s board of directors resigned in protest. It’s unclear if the teachers and counselors are seeking for reinstatement or for monetary damages in the complaint.