Yesterday, approximately 350 Ukiah Wildcats did not attend school. Principal Gordon Oslund suggested that of those 350 students absent, approximately 150 stayed home in protest of the State of California’s upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandates for school children.
The resistance to these mandates came about in two different ways yesterday in the Ukiah community including Wildcats who chose to boycott school and also a group of protestors who gathered outside the Ukiah Unified School District Offices on Orchard Ave.
UHS News spoke with several Ukiah Wildcats about why they engaged in the boycott.
One 10th male told us he stayed home because he suffered medical complications from vaccines in the past and is concerned about similar reactions if he was to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the future.
A freshman female stayed home because she simply does not want to get the vaccine.
A senior male stayed home because he and his family have a personal connection to an injury he alleges is connected to the vaccine. His father, who he described as super-healthy and “jogged-everyday,” had a stroke after receiving the vaccine.
A 10th-grade female says she is afraid of the long-term effects of the vaccine claiming that it has not been out “that long.”
One junior female told us the reason she stayed home was that her parents are passionate supporters of the cause and encouraged her to participate in the boycotts as well.
We spoke with Ukiah High School Principal Gordon Oslund the Friday before the demonstrations and he emphasized his support for the first amendment saying, “I support the right of students to have their first amendment and civil rights respected.”
Regarding Ukiah High School’s role in mandating these vaccines, Principal Oslund said, “The power is not in my hands or the school’s. My job is to lead and love Wildcats.”