13 School District Employees Fired After Refusing COVID-19 Vaccinations

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SMMUSD Administrative Offices

Fourteen employees of the Santa Monica Malibu School District (SMMUSD) were fired during the Thursday, Nov. 18, board of education meeting.

On Friday, SMMUSD spokesperson Gail Pinsker confirmed nearly all of the terminations were due to employees’ non-compliance with vaccine mandates that recently went into effect for staff of the Santa Monica-based school district.

“I can confirm that 13 dismissals were due to refusal to be vaccinated, which is now a term of employment,” Pinsker wrote in an email.

According to information disclosed during the meeting, the 13 were charged with violating the state education code, which allows a school district to fire staff for cause.

The terminations included a Malibu High School groundskeeper who was let go over the mandatory vaccination requirement.

One teacher was also let go, though there was no word on what caused that. 

No move was made to require vaccines for kids.

SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati again urged parents of kids aged five and up to get their children vaccinated. 

The school district has hired nurses to administer the anti-COVID vaccines on Wednesday, Dec. 1 in Malibu. The follow-up shots will be administered in Malibu on both Wednesday, Dec. 22, and Thursday, Jan. 6.

Dec. 22 is after Christmas break starts, so the second clinic on Jan. 6 is designed for those people who are out of town.

The school district will offer the shots to anyone in the community, no matter if they have kids in the schools or not. 

Public schools here are still requiring their kids to wear masks, whether they are vaccinated or not, in line with countywide mask mandates. The district will soon be sending out a survey on safety protocols to middle and high school parents.

A version of this story was first broadcast by KBUU News.