Aug. 24, 2021

Vaccinated Teachers Are Getting COVID-19

Signs encouraging face masks and separating walkways in a school. (Whitney Bryen/Oklahoma Watch)

Hello, readers. Here we are, barely a few weeks into the school year, and I’m hearing reports of vaccinated teachers who are sick with COVID-19. Symptomatic. Quarantined. Away from their students.

It’s a rather jarring reality of the 2021-22 school year, which, just a few short months ago, we thought (hoped!) would be a return to normal.

Teacher Aaron Baker wrote in a recent blog post the steps he has taken to avoid COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic: distancing from family, virtual church, masking indoors and getting vaccinated. He started to feel ill on the ninth day of school. He blames the state Legislature and the governor for passing Senate Bill 658, which prohibits schools from mandating masks.

Another Oklahoma teacher, Jami Cole, told me she came down with COVID-19 on the second day of school. She’s already had COVID once, last school year, and she’s been vaccinated.

Are you a vaccinated teacher or school staff member who has COVID-19? Or a parent whose child’s teacher is quarantined? I would love to talk. Please reach out via email or DM. Have a safe and healthy week.

— Jennifer Palmer

What I’m Reading

  • The USDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine could pave the way for vaccine mandates for teachers. [Education Week]
  • The U.S. Department of Education notified states last week that mask mandate bans may violate students’ rights. [Tulsa World]
  • Oklahoma’s governor is one of several who used pandemic relief money to expand school choice. [Associated Press]
  • Candidate for state superintendent responds to an insinuation that district leaders are to blame for a coach’s misconduct. [The Oklahoman]

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