Citing vaccine disparities, NAACP calls for expansion of DC’s online learning options

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As DC prepares to begin a school year with a COVID-19 vaccination mandate, the DC branch of the NAACP is calling on DC public schools to expand their remote learning programs to better accommodate unvaccinated students .

As DC prepares to begin a school year with a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for some students, the DC branch of the NAACP is calling on DC public schools to expand their remote learning programs to better accommodate students. unvaccinated students.

The first day of classes is August 29. The school district says students 12 and older must have their first dose by Sept. 16 or they won’t be allowed to attend school classes or activities.



In a statement Wednesday, the NAACP said it “supports the DCPS COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” saying it is important to ensure the health of students, staff and the community.

But the group warned that the mandate could disproportionately affect black school attendance – and it could have ripple effects on school resources.

“Mandatory vaccinations can have a negative impact on attendance, and attendance impacts school funding, resources, and student academic success,” branch president Akosua Ali said. in the press release. “A quality virtual learning program is necessary to keep students safe, while ensuring that existing achievement gaps are not exacerbated.”

As of last week, DC COVID-19 data indicates that 100% of white children ages 12-15 have received their COVID-19 vaccines, while 61% of black children that age are vaccinated.

The NAACP called on DCPS to provide options for students who can’t or won’t get vaccinated and to adopt a “no liability” policy that would protect school funding from cuts related to declining enrollment.

At the same time, the group said, the school system should reach out to unvaccinated households to combat vaccine hesitancy.

Ali called vaccinations “critical to fostering a safe, healthy and educational environment,” adding, “This pandemic is not over. COVID-19 and aggressive variants continue to ravage unvaccinated Black communities and families are affected at disproportionate rates.

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