JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In an unanimous decision, the Jackson Public School (JPS) Board has implemented a vaccine mandate for faculty and staff.
JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick Greene made the proposal to the board to require vaccination for those district employees and received nothing but praises for his adaptation of the new policy.
The new policy GAAJ will require vaccines and COVID-19 testing for all district employees.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. These are not easy times, so I just appreciate that folks were able to see through all the challenges and all of the rhetoric and conversation around vaccines and mandates and still saw this was the best fit for us and our community,” said Greene.
With understanding that the Delta variant is affecting more and more elementary age students, the school board commended Greene on his decision to adopt the new policy.
“I for one, believe this is an absolutely necessary step, and I applaud you Dr. Greene and your team for the urgency,” one person said.
During the public comment section of the meeting, a JPS educator expressed support of the vaccination and testing requirements.
“We believe that such vaccine requirements and accommodations are an appropriate, responsible, and necessary step to ensure the safety of our school communities and the protection of our students,” said George Stewart, who is an educator.
“The last thing we want, in addition to any losses or issues with safety, is for our scholars to emerge from these two plus years of this pandemic to be so far behind that they can’t catch up, and that’s real. And as an educator, I have to think about that in addition to the safety issues,” said Greene.
The vaccination and testing requirements will begin October 1, 2021. There are religious and medical exemptions available for district employees.
The superintendent said this new policy will be enforced the same way as existing policies.