Students walk out of SLO County schools to protest vaccine mandate

October 19, 2021


At least hundreds, and possibly thousands, of San Luis Obispo County parents pulled their children out of school as part of a statewide walkout Monday in protest of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for schools. [Tribune]

The governor’s mandate requiring the vaccine in order for children to attend schools in-person will take effect following the shot gaining full federal Food and Drug Administration approval. Initially, the mandate will apply to seventh through 12th grade students. Later, it will apply to kindergarten through sixth grade students.

It is unclear exactly how many SLO County students did not attend class during the walkout, but some districts had numerous empty desks.

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District had 1,780 absences on Monday, meaning about 27 percent of the district’s students were out of class. The district typically has about 760 absences on an average school day.

Atascadero Unified School District had an absence rate on Monday about 20 to 25 percent higher than usual.

San Luis Coastal Unified School District had 103 absences because of the vaccine mandate protest. About 1.3% of San Luis Coastal students were missing from school due to the walkout.

Attendance at Lucia Mar Unified School District campuses was slightly lower than usual on Monday.

In addition to the walkout, hundreds of parents and children protested Newsom’s vaccine mandate outside the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department on Johnson Avenue in San Luis Obispo. Parents and children held signs and rang cowbells outside the health department.

Jennifer Grinager, the SLO County chapter chair of Moms for Liberty, said government should not be telling people they must get vaccinated, and the decision should be between individuals and their doctors.

Similar demonstrations took place statewide. In Sacramento, more than 1,000 demonstrators protested the vaccine mandate for school children outside the state Capitol.


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Pretty much all of the comments are misguided. The protests surround an anti-mandate stance, not an anti-vaccine stance. As a parent of four in the system, we are all vaccinated, however firmly believe that a mandate is unconstitutional. Do I think personally that people should be vaccinated? Yes. Do I think everyone should be forced to? Absolutely not.

Read the entire story, or better yet, speak to an attendee. Look at the sign in the picture. These were not anti-vaccination protests. The protests are for the vaccine mandate.


To suggest the anti-mandate crowd is different from the anti-vacc (spreader) crowd, is a straw-man if I ever saw one. There wouldn’t be a mandate if the latter didn’t exist.

a mandate is unconstitutional

The supreme court would disagree with you. Read up on Jacobson v. Massachusetts and the opinion of Justice Harlan.

The Constitution rests on the fundamental principle of the social compact — that all shall be governed by certain laws for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people, and not for the profit, honor or private interests of any one man, family or class of men.

When a small minority (spreaders) choose to put their own private interests over the health/safety of society as a whole — there comes a time when the government has to step in. School vaccine mandates for measles, polio, etc exist today because historically people are willing to put their own negligence over the safety of their neighbor. The measles outbreak Samoa saw in 2019 is a great example of what happens when the anti-vacc community is able to shirk herd immunity. The whole island declared a state of emergency, houses were red-flagged and then — of course — mandates came.

If you don’t want to be a part of the solution and you want to avoid the mandate, home-school your kids. Easy.


It’s pretty odd that folks who routinely and historical have gotten vaccines for themselves or their children, measles, polio, tetanus, shingles, flu etc. get labeled as “anti vaxers ” or worse yet, “anti science.” Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Hence the problem with ascribing labels to groups of people, putting them in neat little boxes.


Good on these parents! Home School is the solution, once these school districts loose the 20-25% of their money, they will come around and stop the virtue signaling.


Parents aren’t going to home school their kids anywhere near those numbers. Same group was demanding schools open fully just 2 months ago.

Taking your lead; the schools should expel the kids for 2 weeks and hand the parents an independent study packet. Give them what they want. Maybe you’ll be right and they won’t come back.


There you have it, a small vocal minority of anti-vax in the North County.


If its a small group than why should we care…


No, you are incorrect. The protests surround the mandate, not the vaccine. The vast majority of protestors are not anti-vax, but anti-mandate. Every sign, including the one in the story, specifically stated anti-mandate.


“We need our schools open so our children can get an education!” yelled parents. Because school was SO important.


“Let’s ditch school to protest the very vaccines that got them re-opened!”

Face it: the push for schools to go back to normal was about inconvenience, not education. Parents were inconvenienced by their kids. The antics of the October 18th walkout prove that.




Oh no!! The kids who constantly challenge the mask rules and distract their peers, called in sick!?

How will the teachers ever make it through such a difficult day?

When the anti-intellectual parents stops sending their kids to school, teachers get to focus on the kids who want to learn. I welcome it.

Let’s be real, these absent kids aren’t planning on going to college anyway. Their parents don’t believe in science and are convinced that college indoctrinates you into liberalism. Only reason they go to school today is because it’s free childcare.


Public schools are government institutions. Government creates the rules on how they are run. There are alternative choices if parents do not agree with those rules.


If the reason is the fact that “government should not be telling people they must get vaccinated, and the decision should be between individuals and their doctors” what about all the other vaccines that are required for a child to attend public school? Then one may say that the vaccine wasn’t tested enough so does that mean that Trump’s operation warp speed was flawed? And what about people that first got DTP, MMR, and Polio vaccines? Someone had to be the first group to get them and they turned out to be a success. I honestly, without really judging, don’t get why it’s such a big deal to accept a vaccine that was first created by the Tump administration and now is being promoted by a different administration. I’m glad Trump accelerated the process to get the vaccine out and I’m glad this administration is doing all they can to get people vaccinated.


How many are absent on any other day?


It’s in the article.


What a bunch of lame brains.

Notice how in SLO (the progressive wing of the county) it was a tiny percentage whereas the redneck cult following areas had a much larger percentage of walk outs. Figures

Mike Hunt

Progressive? How culturally diverse are the permanent residents of San Luis Obispo? How is the homeless situation going there? How many Cal Poly graduates can afford to buy a house there? How much corruption are we hearing about on this site? If that’s Progress you can have it, us rednecks will be just fine without you.


We have a black mayor. The homeless sitch is bad all over and an overwhelming problem nation wide. The ghastly cost of housing is a worldwide problem. The massive corruption (like Adan Hill from south county) is terrible.

Any other complaints about the city of SLO?


Isn’t this about vaccine phobia brought about by the crazed right wing nut jobs?


High housing costs are a sign of desirability.