DFER Statement on School Safety & Educator Vaccinations

Press Releases

August 5, 2021

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Aug. 5, 2021) — Democrats for Education Reform National President Shavar Jeffries released the following statement in response to district vaccine mandates for educators:

“One of our top priorities as a nation must be getting our students safely back into classrooms this fall where educators can support students’ mental, emotional, and academic wellbeing.

Over the past year and a half, pandemic-related school closures have cost historically underserved students almost a year of learning time. We risk losing a generation of students if we cannot safely reopen our schools. As the Delta variant threatens in-person learning, it’s more important than ever for districts to take steps to reduce virus transmission—this includes heeding the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for individuals ages 12 and over to get vaccinated, and for continued masking indoors in areas of substantial or high transmission.

Given the tremendous stakes for our students, all eligible adults working in schools—especially elementary schools where students are ineligible for vaccines—have a clear responsibility to get vaccinated. Our leaders must step up and mandate that teachers and school staff be vaccinated to stem the transmission of Delta and other variants, and protect our most vulnerable communities, families, and students.

By following the science, we can create a safe space for our students to learn and thrive.”