Roseburg Public Schools announced Monday that nearly all of its staff members had met the requirement of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s mandate that all educators be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18.

That mandate was announced Aug. 19, and saw significant pushback from school districts throughout the state, including a handful of districts within Douglas County.

Roseburg Public Schools reported that as of Monday, 99.8% of the district’s 723 employees had either completed their vaccination sequence or been granted a religious or medical exception, the district said in a press release.

“We worked closely with our staff members to guide them through this process with the goal of maintaining as many employees as possible,” Superintendent Jared Cordon said. “All of our staff members are valuable to our organization, and we are grateful for their ongoing professionalism and support.”

In protest of the vaccination mandate for educators, a social media movement called for students to walk out of class Monday. While it was unclear how many Douglas County schools participated in this walkout, Glendale instructor Scott Perkins said that all but roughly a dozen students took part.

“It’s a little tough,” said Perkins, who also serves as the high school’s student body council advisor. “All of our homecoming events start this week.”

Perkins was unsure how long the walkout would last, but that it could potentially last all week.

The News-Review attempted to contact several other administrators in Douglas County for information related to their particular staffs’ status as it relates to the mandate, but received no replies.

With Roseburg Public Schools, district operations staff and school nurses continue to work closely with the Douglas Public Health Network to track positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

“Our protocols, in conjunction with state and federal safety requirements, have been effective in allowing us to provide full-time, in-person learning this school year,” Cordon said. “Students are successfully reengaging with their peers and teachers and are catching up on unfinished learning.”

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

React to this story:

5
2
0
1
2

Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

Recommended for you

(13) comments

Mike

I was emailed yesterday by Aimee Green, an Oregonian Newspaper Reporter, who wrote the following:

“I'm looking for a parent (or a staff member) who will talk to me. Seems to me that if staff were told they'd be granted an exemption to the vaccine mandate and 100% of requests were indeed granted, the intent of the vaccination mandate was undermined.

I did talk to Roseburg Schools Superintendent Jared Cordon. He told me 22% of the staff asked for and received exemptions. I found this to be common in multiple southern, central or eastern Oregon districts.

I would love to talk to someone in one of these districts who is concerned about this.

Thank you,

Aimee Green

Reporter, The Oregonian / OregonLive.com”

Mike

It appears Superintendent Cordon told the Oregonian reporter 78% of teachers were vaccinated and told Mr. Mendelson that number was 75%. I wonder which one it is.

Scott Mendelson

I emailed Superintendent Cordon, and he informed me that about 75% of staff were vaccinated, whereas almost all of the the rest received "religious" exemptions. Given the fact that no major religion opposes the vaccination, this seems a rather lax, undiscriminating and uncritical allowance of exemptions. While following the letter of the law, it is not in line with the spirit of the law, which is to protect people. I find it disgraceful.

mworden

Scott, thank you for getting this info and sharing it. Oregon has one of the most lax policies in the nation for applying for a religious or philosophical exemption to vaccines.

Smart A

Seems to me like the Roseburg Schools followed this mandate. Exceptions are allowed.

Scott Mendelson

I wrote to Superintendent Cordon about why the exact breakdown of vaccinated versus exempt was not revealed, and he told me that it was to protect staff from shame. Given the fact that the individuals involved would reman anonymous, this is extraordinarily contrived and disingenuous. I told him that it was likely his own shame that he was avoiding. I asked for the breakdown, but he felt offended and did not respond. This needs to be looked into. Given the fact that no major religion is against vaccination, a large percentage being given religious exemptions smacks of complicity in a Luddite conspiracy to avoid vaccination and, inadvertently at best, perpetuate the pandemic.

melrosereader

Who knew there were so many Christian Scientists in Roseburg? Best as I can tell, that is one of only a handful of organized religion that eschews modern medicine. Even the Jehovah Witnesses revised their vaccination ban in 1952.

So it would appear that the vast majority of teachers and staff who are claiming a religious exemption are flat-out lying.

Here's a list of religions from Vanderbilt University that do and do not prohibit vaccination. https://www.vumc.org/health-wellness/news-resource-articles/immunizations-and-religionfrom

mynamehere

99.8% are vaccinated yet are still required to wear a mask.

Scott Mendelson

Recommendations to wear a mask are entirely dependent on infection positivity rates. No one is trying to punish you.

mworden

99.8 are either vaccinated or have received a religious exemption. We don't know how many exemptions were granted. Oregon has had one of the most lax vaccination exemption systems in the nation. So, no. 99.8 are not vaccinated. We don't have a figure on that.

Mike

At 3:00 into the radio interview (below link) Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent Jared Cordon said ALL religious exemptions submitted for the state’s vaccine mandate were accepted.

https://kqennewsradio.com/2021/10/15/inside-douglas-county-10-15-21/

Mike

Religious exemptions threaten to undermine US Covid vaccine mandates.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/religious-exemptions-threaten-to-undermine-us-covid-vaccine-mandates/ar-AAPHaLK

mworden

It would be good to know how many religious and medical exemptions were given.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.