MIDDLETOWN — Discussion of someone’s COVID-19 vaccination status can potentially get heated but a resolution to be considered by the school board would put an end to it.
As first reported by the Middletown Patch, a resolution up for a vote at Wednesday’s Middletown Board of Education meeting includes language that would prohibit discussion of the vaccine.
“There will be no tolerance for any harassment, intimidation, or bullying of, or retaliation against any individual in relation to their medical decisions regarding face masks and/or vaccines,” the resolution says.
“Staff shall not discuss COVID-19 vaccination status, nor encourage or discourage vaccination at school, during extracurricular activities or at school-sponsored or sanctioned events on or off school premises,” it adds.
The provision was added by board member Jackie Tobacco who told Middletown Patch that teachers who attended an NJEA seminar were trained on how to influence students about the COVID-19 vaccine.
NJEA spokeswoman Dawn Hibbert told New Jersey 101.5 that Tobacco’s allegation is not true. She said that most members are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and hopes that eligible students will also take the shot.
“As far as talking to kids about vaccines or influencing people or students that we teach it’s not something that we promote or ask our members to discuss with their students. It’s not appropriate. That’s a parent’s job to make that decision,” Hibbert said.
Tobacco on Friday afternoon did not respond to New Jersey 101.5’s request for more information.
With the support of the NJEA, Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to mandate all teachers in New Jersey become fully vaccinated.