Madison school board passes COVID-19 vaccine mandate resolution

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of continuing to draft a plan around mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all staff and teachers.

The board voted 7-0 in favor of continuing conversations around a vaccine mandate.

Still, parents are growing anxious. In just a few days, school starts for some MMSD students, and parents fear so much is still up in the air.

“I cannot believe we are within a week of school and I’m still asking questions,” Martha Siravo, a member of Madtown Mommas and Disability Advocates, said during the Board’s regular meeting.

Board members say they are doing the best they can to move swiftly, and safely.

“I wish the timeline was sooner, but I’d rather have the discussion now than not have it at all,” said Board Member Nicki Vander Meulen.

Although the resolution passed there is still much work to be done before the mandate is enacted, which will take weeks.

“We have to come up with a system to protect everybody’s privacy while collecting some very personal medical information so we have to proceed cautiously,” said Board Member Cris Carusi. “The main comment we’ve received... is are we going fast enough? Is trying to put a mandate up by the end of September too slow?”

The plan for the mandate will be discussed in the operation work group meeting on September 20. Medical and religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine will also be discussed then, explained Vander Meulen.

The final plan on a vaccine requirement will be voted on Sept. 27.

Eighty-five percent of the Madison teachers’ union is in support of the mandate, according to a recent survey, while 10% said they wanted more information.

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