A columnist has revealed that a school in Washington state is offering a huge credit toward its graduation requirements to students if they take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This feels coercive, like a form of bribery to push kids into a decision they may not want to make,” wrote Jason Rantz in his MyNorthwest.com commentary.
The issue developed in the Chimacum School District in Port Townsend, Washington, which earlier had made its multi-purpose room available for the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management and Jefferson County Public Health to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations to members of the community.
Rantz explained the high school was “bribing” students into taking the vaccinations, “making a medical decision that should be left to the students and their families.”
It issue is Chimacum Junior/Senior High School requires students to finish 55 hours of community service in order to graduate.
That requirement can be fulfilled by picking up litter, attending an online school board meeting or writing letters to a newspaper editor.
“But one community service option caught a parent’s attention: Getting the COVID vaccine,” the column explained. “Students who get the COVID vaccine and submit paperwork proof will earn a whopping 25 hours towards their community service requirement.”
He noted, “The pitch is appealing. The vaccine process may take about 30 minutes, yet students receive a premium on getting the vaccine. Earning 25 hours — nearly half of the required hours to graduate — for one or two shots? High schoolers may jump at that chance.”
One parent contacted Rantz to express his concern over the apparent campaign by the school to “place incentives” for students to take the vaccine.
“There are many in our communities who don’t look at a COVID-19 vaccine as a necessary risk for their healthy children to partake in, and this may undermine that position,” the unidentified father told Rants. “These decisions are for parents and families to make alone and should not be incentivized by public entities such as the public school system.”
David Carthum, principal at the school, told Rantz: “At CJSHS, we are providing our students with opportunities to improve their community in ways accessible to them given the circumstances of this pandemic. Vaccination is just one of the voluntary ways that students can choose to fulfill this requirement. We know that immunization helps protect our community, which is why we call it a service.”
He also claimed there is “no coercion.”
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Author: Bob Unruh
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