Letters to the Editor: If LAUSD caves to anti-vaxxers, it’ll set a terrible example for kids

Anti-vaccine activists hold signs at a rally
Anti-vaccine activists hold a rally against the L.A. Unified School District’s student vaccination mandate in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 8.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Nick Melvoin, a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, says campus safety is paramount and “the north star of this board has been student success.” Removing the Jan. 10 deadline for eligible students to be fully vaccinated or be placed into an independent study program undermines both.

Allowing 30,000-plus unvaccinated students to remain in the classroom puts students, teachers, staff and their friends and families at risk.

As well, student success needs to be measured beyond academic achievement. A successful student is one who fully comprehends the urgency of a national health crisis and his or her responsibility in it.


In an age of slivered and selfish identity politics where “my body,” “my space” and conspiracy theories overrule common sense and undermine science, the district has chosen to undercut families that complied with the mandate and undermine social and communal responsibility. Worse, it teaches students that frivolous convictions can outlast and wear down reasoned ones.

Some message to be sending.

Mitch Paradise, Los Angeles

The writer has taught in LAUSD for 22 years.


To the editor: I did a little research on my own at no charge.

As of this writing, according to the California Department of Public Health, the 5-17 age group accounts for 29 total COVID-19 deaths in all of California. Statistically, that is about 0% of the total deaths in California. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website shows that 139 children between ages 5-17 died of influenza in the United States during the 2019-20 season.

The LAUSD saw fit to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all eligible students by Jan. 10 before indicating it will push back that deadline to next fall. I guess a flu shot mandate is right around the corner.

Robert Filacchione, Fullerton



To the editor: Anyone who has ever been associated with education at any level knows deadlines are important to getting the job done.

The vaccine deadline date does not really matter. It could be next week, next month, next year, next decade or next century, and there will still be the same people who will not meet it. Stick with the deadline.

Keith Price, Los Angeles