On Thursday, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) revealed that the nation’s capital was not going to be providing any virtual learning options for unvaccinated students, who she has already banned from attending school in-person. Blocking at-home learning options will reportedly leave about 40% of black students without any schooling at all.
Speaking to reporters in a press briefing, Bowser confirmed that D.C. would be barring virtual learning.
“They can go to school on Monday. But they need to get their vaccinations, and their families will be alerted as to the dates,” the mayor said.
When a reporter pressed Bowser on the issue of online learning and whether it would be available for unvaccinated students, she admitted that no such opportunity would be provided — which ultimately means that Washington, D.C. is pressuring parents to vaccinate their children.
“We’re not offering remote learning for children, and families will need to comply with what is necessary to come to school,” she said.
Bowser was previously confronted by a reporter who demanded answers about the policy that will disproportionately impact black students, pointing out that 40% of them remain unvaccinated. In response, the mayor claimed that the statistics the reporter cited were inaccurate.
“Around 40% of black students in the district are unvaccinated and, therefore, under the district’s current policy regarding schools, will be unable to attend school. Why is the district continuing with this policy when it seems to disproportionately impact black students?” Daily Signal reporter Douglas Blair asked.
“I don’t think that number is correct,” Bowser claimed. “We have substantially fewer number of kids that we have to engage with vaccination. And I explained why it’s important. It’s important for the public health of our students and that we can maintain safe environments.”
The problem with Bowser’s comments is the fact that those statistics came directly from her office.
Beyond that, the mayor’s policy directly conflicts with the recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The government agency has removed the distinction between vaccinated Americans and those who are unvaccinated, meaning that the CDC’s guidance is now the same for everyone. They have also eased the guidance for schools, noting that children exposed to COVID no longer had to test negative before returning to in-person learning. The updated guidance also stated that the CDC was no longer recommending that schools avoid mixing groups of children.
Less than 24 hours after the Daily Signal reporter confronted Bowser, Washington, D.C. updated its vaccine guidance to give students more time to “comply.”
The students previously had 20 days after the day school started to get vaccinated — now, they have until January 3, 2023.
— OSSE (@OSSEDC) August 26, 2022