A Seattle-area high school is encouraging students to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In return for getting the jab, roughly half of the student’s community service requirements for graduation will be satisfied.
According to KTTH, Chimacum Junior/Senior High School (CJSHS), located in Port Townsend, sent a letter to students last week with ideas for how they can complete the 55 hours of community service that is required in order to receive a diploma.
“The school emailed students this week with ideas. Students can pick up litter, attend an online school board Zoom meeting, or write a letter to a newspaper editor,” KTTH reported. “But one community service option caught a parent’s attention: getting the COVID vaccine.”
Students who decide to get the COVID vaccine and submit proof of immunization will receive credit for 25 hours worth of community service.
“At CJSHS, we are providing our students with opportunities to improve their community in ways accessible to them given the circumstances of this pandemic,” CJSHS Principal David Carthum told radio host Jason Rantz via email. “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.”
“There is no coercion; students can choose any of the options or suggest their own,” Carthum said.
One parent rightfully took issue with the school incentivizing a health decision that’s between the student, their parents, and their doctors.
“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 parent told KTTH. “These decisions (health decisions) are for parents and families to make alone and should not be incentivized by public entities such as the public school system.”
The parent believes this is a way for the school to “influence” students’ decisions and push them toward getting a vaccine they would otherwise shy away from. And he’s right.
This incentive encourages minors to make medical decisions they aren’t mature enough to make. If a teenager wants to receive the vaccine but his or her parents object to it, the community service incentive can encourage students to falsify their parents’ signatures and circumvent safeguards to get the vaccine.
Schools, teachers, and administrators need to stay out of medical decisions. They don’t know if a student has allergies or religious reasons for not getting the vaccine. Maybe their doctors have advised against it or they weighed the pros and cons and simply decided the vaccine wasn’t for them. It doesn’t matter the reason why a teenager does or does not get the jab. It’s none of the school’s business.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.