(Update: Adding video, comments)
Nearly 340 staff provide proof of vaccination
PAULINA, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With only a week go go before Oregon's vaccination mandate deadline, school districts across the state are dealing with possible resignations by numerous staff members. But more than 100 Crook County Schools employees have received medical or religious exceptions, so they can continue to work without getting the vaccine.
As a result, district Communications Director Jason Carr said, the mandate's impact is minimal, with only eight resignations among a district staff of more than 500 employees. the school board was told Monday night as it met at Paulina Elementary School.
"A majority of our employees have chosen to get vaccinated or take medical exemptions or religious exceptions," Carr said. "At this point, we expect the impact on our school district to be minimal, and we’ve already been able to fill some of the positions that were left open."
As of Monday evening, 339 staff members had submitted vaccine documentation, 110 had taken religious exceptions, and six were given a medical exception.
Crook County Schools Director of Human Resources Sean Corrigan says staff members have found a way to keep things going.
"This is a great reflection of our staff," Corrigan said. "They're just all trying to find a way to make it happen."
Along with the medical and religious exceptions, Corrigan says they are still awaiting information from 30 staff members, 21 of whom are coaches.
The school board also listened during the public comment period to Jack Rabenburg of Oregon Parents' Rights in Education. The group has pushed back against mask and vaccination mandates in schools.
Rabenburg presented a petition calling on the school board to proclaim November as Parents' Rights in Education Month, and hopes the school board votes in favor.
He says the parent-child relationship should be supported by teachers, counselors, administrators, and school board members.
"All of the negative media that seems to be going around right now, with the National School Board Association and even our Oregon School Board Association, I thought this might be an opportunity for our school board to make a proclamation to the citizens of Prineville," Rabenburg said.
Rabenburg attached signatures of parents and citizens in support of the proclamation.
The school board says the earliest it can address the possible proclamation is in November, when they can also vote on it.