Two students at New West Charter School in Los Angeles told the Daily Caller they were forced to choose between an “inadequate” online education or in-person learning after they refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. When they attempted to return to school with a negative COVID test, they were corralled behind police tape by the school’s vice principal, according to video footage of the incident.
Students and staff at New West Charter (NWC) School were required to submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by Dec. 28, according to the school’s COVID policy, adopted Oct. 26. Six students returned for in-person learning on Jan. 18 and were told that a negative COVID test was insufficient; they were subsequently placed in a designated unvaccinated area outside of the school building.
Students Ellah Nahum and Ella Goring told the Daily Caller that NWC created a two-step process to check vaccination status as students entered the building on their first day back from winter break. The first checkpoint asked for proof of a negative COVID test and the second asked students to show their vaccination status. Nahum and Goring told people at the second checkpoint that they had proof of a negative COVID test and were not vaccinated.
Nahum and Goring said they “anticipated” getting escorted outside, but did not expect their vice principal to corral them behind police tape. The girls alleged that the school refused to let them inside to use the restroom or provide chairs for them to sit on.
“It was the most peaceful protest ever,” Nahum told the Daily Caller.
The duo recorded themselves, as well as four other students who were forced to sit outside on the ground. Nahum and Goring told the Daily Caller that they wanted to serve as “role models” for other students on campus, though they feel ostracized by many of their peers.
“We’re being threatened to be suspended because we don’t have the COVID-19 vaccine,” Nahum said. “We’re being closed off by this caution tape-like thing. We’re being segregated from the rest of the school.”
Unvax students at New West Charter LA segregated behind barriers & not allowed to attend class. They asked for chairs, were denied & are sitting on the pavement, not allowed to even use restroom. LAPD is on site but not intervening. Litigation from Let Them Choose already pending pic.twitter.com/hgCI97HYv1
— LET THEM BREATHE (@letthem_breathe) January 18, 2022
“We were humiliated, discriminated [against], and intimidated by adults,” the duo told the Daily Caller. “These were adults.”
The school called the Los Angeles Police Department to the scene, the students said.
Parents and students were notified Dec. 13 that unvaccinated students would be disenrolled from the school if they failed to provide proof of a COVID vaccine by Dec. 28, according to a letter from the school reviewed by the Daily Caller. Students were given the option of attending “NWC+,” an online option, or disenrollment.
“You are hereby notified that NWC will involuntarily remove (disenroll) Student effective January 27, 2022 unless it receives valid proof that: (1) Student has become fully vaccinated against COVID-19; (2) Student received a qualified and approved exemption or conditional admission; or (3) Student has been approved for enrollment into NWC+,” the letter reads.
NWC does not provide a medical exemption provision for the vaccine. (RELATED: Video Appears To Show Elementary Schoolers Learning Outside In Below Freezing Temps)
Goring told the Daily Caller that she believes the online learning program is “nowhere near an adequate education” and is a “burden on all of our mental health.”
“We know how online school works, but the potential for the highest learning availability is stripped away from us,” Goring said.
“Let Them Breathe,” an organization that represents over 20,000 parents and advocates for “mask choice,” filed a lawsuit on behalf of NWC students over the vaccination mandate. Sharon McKeeman, the founder of “Let Them Breathe,” told the Daily Caller that the mandate is “unlawful.”
The organization filed a lawsuit against the San Diego Unified School District (SUSD) and won. A San Diego judge struck down SDUSD’s vaccine mandate, “finding that an individual school district lacks authority to require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19,” according to the “Let Them Breathe” lawsuit.
New West Charter School did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.