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Officials say 'it's a long shot' vaccines will be required for school staff in some local districts

COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 8:48 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 00:50:05-04

MANITOWOC, Wis. (NBC 26) -- You either get the vaccine or you have to get tested weekly.

That's the requirement some states and school districts are debating across the country.


"I think it's a long shot, but anything is possible," Manitowoc School District Board Member Stacey Soeldner said. "I think we get into a really slippery slope when we do that."

On Wednesday, California became the first state to mandate vaccination or require a weekly COVID test for school staff.

But Seldner says the issue hasn't been brought up in Manitowoc. Her district employs nearly 1,000 people.

"In our district we have a pretty conservative community," she said. "I don't think the citizens would stand behind it. ... Mandating something about their health care I think makes it even more problematic for us to get good quality teachers."

And the state is leaving the decision up to the school boards.

"There's significantly fewer tools available because of the Supreme Court and legislative Republicans filing lawsuits over the last year and a half," Chief Legal Counsel with the Office of the Governor Ryan Nilsestuen said during a media call with the DHS on Thursday.

In the Green Bay Area School District, Board Member Andrew Becker says there hasn't been any serious talk of a mandate for teachers.

"People should get vaccinated, but that is a medical decision for them to make on their own," Becker said. "And I would not see us doing a vaccine mandate here."

Covid testing

Among almost 3,000 employees, Becker says the shot has already been popular.

"I don't think that's the thing that needs to happen the most because a huge majority of school staff at all levels have had the vaccine," he said.

Vaccine Mandate

Whether the topic comes up in a board meeting or not, Becker continues to monitor the virus.

"I feel good about the fact that we seem to be maybe on a better course than places that didn't take COVID as seriously," Becker said.