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LAUSD Firing Unvaccinated Teachers and Staff – Even With Teacher Shortage

District offering $5,000 bonuses to new, right out of college, non-credentialed teachers

By Katy Grimes, May 23, 2023 11:58 am

Last month the Globe reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District was still firing teachers for being unvaccinated against COVID-19, despite acknowledgment of their religious or medical exemptions.

The Globe has learned that LAUSD is still firing experienced teachers over the COVID vaccine mandate, while simultaneously advertising that they are hiring teachers, and offering $5,000 bonuses to new, right out of college, non-credentialed teachers.

There are several lawsuits against the LAUSD on behalf of teachers and district staff. And because the CDC admitted that the shots are not a vaccine but a therapeutic, everyone has a legal right to refuse. But LAUSD, the second largest school district in the country, doesn’t seem to care and is still letting experienced teacher go.

The Globe has just learned another 10+ LAUSD teachers were given “displacement notices” the week of May 15. Teachers who are displaced effectively lose their jobs unless they get the COVID shot(s).

The UTLA/LAUSD contract specifies that teachers are displaced by seniority. This was not followed with these current teacher displacements or the displacements a year ago, teachers told the Globe. 

The Globe contacted LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, and asked what is behind continuing the COVID vaccine mandate for teachers and school staff:

“I’ve been through the LAUSD website and found the original September 2021 vaccine mandate order for staff and students. I also found the May 2022 updated mandate for teachers and all staff,” the Globe said in the email. “With the President lifting the COVID national emergency and COVID mandates, and Gov. Newsom lifting California’s as well, can you share your concerns and why you are maintaining the COVID vaccine mandate for staff and teachers, and not students?”

We will update the article when the Superintendent replies.*

The Globe talked with Raquel, one of those displaced teachers who said the district kicked her out of her classroom September 20, 2021, and sent her to the district’s virtual (online) teaching. But she was kicked out of that September 2022, as well.

Raquel said she has a religious exemption from the mandatory vaccines, but has been targeted by the district for termination. Yesterday she received a notice from the LAUSD telling her that her “reasonable accommodation” request for next year has been denied.

She called the LAUSD and was told, “get a vaccine and we can rehire you.”


Raquel said she calls the district Human Resource Department to ask about jobs, and asks if the vaccine is required for employment. The answer is always “yes.”

She said within LAUSD, Grenada Hills Charter School requires the vaccine for staff, teachers and students. Teachers who did not comply are fired and students are kicked out of the school.

She has called and emailed the LAUSD but she says they never respond. So she and other displaced teachers attend the board meetings, and in the 3 minutes allowed, beg for their jobs back. Raquel said the district board never responds.

The Globe asked Raquel if other Southern California school districts still require the COVID vaccine for employment. She said Newhall School District never required the shots, nor did the Pasadena School District. She said Glendale School District did for a shot time, and then dropped the mandate.

“LAUSD is the only one hanging on,” Raquel said. She reported a rumor among teachers and staff that one reason the district is hanging on is because they’d have to pay back the displaced and fired teachers. “Eventually they will have to fix what they did to us,” Raquel said.

“We are religious people. We even refuse to teach some of the inappropriate things,” she said. “But when they do layoffs, they only lay off the staff with religious exemptions, and not those with medical exemptions.”

“There is a serious teacher shortage at LAUSD. They are paying $5,000 bonuses, but they doin’t want us back in the classroom.”

Raquel said at one public district board meeting when teachers asked Superintendent Carvalho why the district was just mandating the teachers and staff for the COVID vaccine. “I pay the teachers, not the students,” was his feeble reply.

Another serious issue is that unvaccinated teachers can’t go to LAUSD campuses for any reason, including upcoming graduations, another teacher who asked to remain anonymous told the Globe. “We know many high school students and parents are upset about this. Many parents are upset about not being able to volunteer on school campuses if they’re not vaccinated as well.”

“We also know of at least one teacher who was written up for going on campus for a professional development after receiving an email inviting any LAUSD teachers to attend this optional, paid Professional Development,” the teacher said.

Health Freedom Defense

Teachers lost their jobs for refusing the experimental vaccine, and some were relegated to online teaching and left in limbo, Leslie Manookian, Founder of the Health Freedom Defence Fund said. Teachers were told their religious beliefs didn’t matter, or their medical needs didn’t matter. “Some have had adverse reactions to other shots. They’ve been denied the the ability to protect themselves and their religious beliefs. They’ve been fired for doing so, or were just cast aside.”

In 2021 following LAUSD terminating 1,000 teachers and staff, for declining to take the COVID vaccines, Health Freedom Defense filed suit against the LAUSD.

LAUSD first tried to mandate the COVID vaccine when the shot was introduced, Manookian said. “We sued in 2021, and they rescinded the mandate the next day.” However, that was not the end of it.

“In July 2021, as the case was working its way through the system, LAUSD represented to our attorney and in a brief filed with the court, that there ‘is no mandate’ and that LAUSD had no intention of issuing a mandate. The court accepted this representation in dismissing the case as not ‘ripe’ on July 27, 2021. Thus, if there is no mandate, the lawsuit is not ripe.”

“Seventeen days later LAUSD issued a COVID vaccine mandate,” Manookian said. So they filed suit again.

The LAUSD still has its September 9, 2021 vaccine mandate order on its website:

“As part of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s efforts to provide the safest possible environment in which to learn and work, all students 12 years old and older will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 10, 2022, unless they have a medical or other exemption.”

“The science is clear – vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said. “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and requiring eligible students to be vaccinated is the strongest way to protect our school community.”

To date, Los Angeles Unified’s robust safety measures include daily health checks for everyone going onto school campuses, masks, comprehensive COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and isolation of cases, hand sanitizer, increased sanitization/cleaning of schools and upgraded ventilation. This additional step provides another layer of safety in schools.

Under the Frequently Asked Questions section, LAUSD defines what “fully vaccinated” means, and who must be vaccinated:

  1. “Fully-vaccinated” refers to an individual who has received the first and second doses of the vaccine (or, in the case of Johnson & Johnson, the single required dose) and has completed the two-week period that follows to ensure maximum immunity.
  1. all District employees, Partners, Contractors and other adults who provide services on District property will be mandated to be fully- vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than October 15, 2021 as a condition of continued employment/service.

And if an employee refuses the COVID shot?

  1. Although the District is requiring vaccines for employees, the District will still engage in an interactive process to determine if a reasonable accommodation exists to permit an employee to continue working who cannot take the vaccine due to disability or sincerely held religious belief.

But that is not actually happening according to teachers who have been fired and are in permanent unpaid limbo.

The teachers explain the history and their situations:

In August 2021, the Los Angeles Unified School District mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees, even though CDC had acknowledged on July 27, 2021 that the vaccines stopped neither transmission nor infection. And even though LAUSD had represented to the federal district court in July, 2021 that it did not intend to mandate the vaccine after CAEMF had sued LAUSD over its mandate of the experimental Emergency Use Authorization vaccine leading to the court dismissing the case as moot as there was no longer a mandate.

Beginning in October 2021, LAUSD displaced 1000+ teachers/employees, and blocked them from school campuses who refused the vaccine mandate, which is still true today. Since then, over 500 employees have been fired and 300 teachers/employees remain displaced and unpaid.  Another 300 teachers are still forced to teach online in the Virtual Academy and have faced losing their jobs as well. 

There are several lawsuits against the LAUSD vax mandates.  The teachers say their labor union, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), has been complicit and not supportive in the teacher vaccine mandate.

UPDATE: a Los Angeles Unified spokesperson replied to the Globe at 3:00pm Tuesday:

“At this time, Los Angeles Unified’s vaccine policy remains the same.”

(Next: more LAUSD teachers talk with the Globe)

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11 thoughts on “LAUSD Firing Unvaccinated Teachers and Staff – Even With Teacher Shortage

  1. Why are they still getting fired? Because their refusal to get vaccinated (for whatever reason) shows an independent personality streak that no HR department can abide.
    If they don’t do what we tell them on this, how can we be sure they’ll do what we tell them on other matters?
    And the board and union loves it, too, for the same reason as their is probably a bit of overlap between teachers who won’t vax and teachers who think independently and are not real fans of the woke policies in general.
    In other words, it’s a culling of the herd to weed out people who could be troublemakers – that’s it.

    1. Thomas, these fired teachers can get together and file a class action lawsuit for illegal termination. I hope they do and collect multi-millions $$$ from the corrupt LAUSD.

    2. Thomas Buckley, I couldn’t agree more. That’s exactly how this OUTRAGE hit me, too, when I first read it. They’re firing and barring from campus the sensible people (including parents) and keeping and hiring, actually SEDUCING, those who are young or compliant or both, and who scare easy. The better to menace you to stay in the union and pay your dues, Little Red Riding Hood! There will be no opting out for you, honey! Not when we can make your life miserable if you even THINK about it. And don’t think we won’t. With only the go-along sheep and fresh-faced youngsters on campus, we’ll go ahead now and do whatever the hell we want to. WHATEVER we want to do. Who’s gonna stop us?

      It’s also not surprising to hear that the teachers union, UTLA, has been complicit in all of this. The UTLA President, Cecily Myart-Cruz, is a banshee of a harridan of a shrew on crack. Superintendent Caravalho, who once had a decent reputation as a reasonable man, recently caved to the union’s salary (20% for all?) and other demands, and thus has been brought to heel. He is now being led around on a leash by Myart-Cruz and everyone knows it.

      As for the interviewed teacher’s speculation that LAUSD is essentially kicking the can of consequences down the road, that sounds right and would be the case if there HAD EVER BEEN consequences for ANY of this outrageous stuff. Maybe there have been and I missed them. Hope so.

  2. Can you imagine if LAUSD kept the teachers that question authority and apply critical thinking to everyday life, how that would affect the students under their tutelage?
    It would jeopardize the brain washing agenda.
    This is why our country gets weaker as time ticks on. They need to keep the kids from asking crucial questions and becoming independent thinkers.

    As we all know, the mRNA shots are neither effective nor prevent transmission!
    Once again this is about power and control.

    Sue that district into oblivion!

  3. And the union is complicit, what a surprise. As a retired NYS educator, all I ever saw the union do was protect bad teachers, thereby robbing students of educational opportunities. They could care less about students.

  4. I feel for the teachers who don’t want the jab (I refused it, myself). However, living in California and working for the LA school district and then crying about oppression is like moving to Hell and crying because your hair is singed. You kind of get what you ask for.

  5. De facto anti-conservative bias. Weed out the “anti-establishment” types, which ironically are conservatives today. There is no provable nexus between public health and willingness to take an experimental injection.

    Does this meaningless edit by a government agency fall disproportionately on any one class of employees?

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