6 teachers, 1 counselor fired from Granada Hills Charter High School for refusing to get vaccinated

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Friday, October 29, 2021
7 Granada Hills school employees fired after refusing to get vaccine
Seven employees who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are vowing to sue after being fired from their jobs at Granada Hills Charter High School.

GRANADA HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- Seven employees at Granada Hill Charter High School have been fired from their jobs after refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The counselor and six teachers who were terminated said they plan on filing a lawsuit against the school and its governing board.

"We were given the impossible option of choosing between our deeply held beliefs or our livelihoods," Dr. Angela Karapetyan, a math teacher, said in a statement. "Now we're fighting for our right to preserve both. We are willing to accept any reasonable accommodations including daily testing and wearing masks to protect our students, while also trying to protect our own family's well-being".

On Wednesday night, after receiving the recommendation from the school's executive director, seven of the school's eight-member governing board voted to dismiss the employees. One member, Maribel Campos, said she resigned and did not vote with the other members to fire the school employees.

Campos said she resigned because she did not agree with the decision to mandate a vaccine for any of the staff or student body.

"If you do not get vaccinated, there's a threat our credential will be suspended or revoked," said teacher Zeth Beckman. "That's the reason why I retained my attorney, making sure that they don't do anything to our credential. I think that's ridiculous. It has nothing to do with the way I teach or my ability to teach."

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The cheerleading team at Valencia High School is at the center of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. School officials say they've notified parents after reporting 33 cases among staff and students.

The school's governing board did not immediately respond to ABC7's request for comment.

Meanwhile, California is prepositioning millions of small-dose Pfizer vaccines in anticipation that the federal government will give final approval to administer the shots to children aged 5-11 as early as the end of next week. About 3.5 million children would be eligible, or 9% of California residents, state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said.

The state plans to mandate vaccinations for school children but that's not expected to kick in until the 2022-23 school year. Meantime, California will wait until after this winter to review its school masking requirement and then will look at typical indicators like the number of people who are vaccinated and the rate of transmissions and hospitalizations, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency.

The Associated Press contribute to this report.