Intimidating, publicly shaming those with vaccine concerns is wrong path, says Braun

Inslee’s vaccine mandate on K-12 could backfire, hurt students


OLYMPIASenate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, issued the following statement in response to the governor’s announcement requiring teachers and other K-12 education employees to get the COVID vaccine or risk losing their jobs and jeopardizing their district’s funding.

“I am vaccinated and urge others to do so. The issue is not whether the COVID vaccines are effective in fighting the spread of the virus. It’s that the governor has now doubled down on the extreme position he has already taken against other hardworking employees in state government and the health-care sector.

“No other governor has gone so far to take deeply personal health-care choices away from people and force them to inject something into their bodies. Today, Governor Inslee also sent a clear message that he doesn’t trust the dedicated teachers and staff at our public K-12 schools to make their own decisions about how to protect students and one another.

“Our kids can’t afford to be deprived of even more in-person education, but that’s exactly what could happen if districts lose teachers and staff. A more collaborative, compassionate and inclusive outreach campaign to persuade people to get the vaccine would be more effective and less damaging than the governor throwing around the weight of his unchecked emergency powers.

“Dictating is not the same as leading. Intimidating and publicly shaming people who have sincere concerns is the wrong path.”