(Update: Adding video, comments from Mtn. View protesters; Bend-La Pine stats)
Redmond schools say all employees are vaccinated or get exception; Crook County schools lose 6 staff
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Passing drivers honked their horns as students chanted “no more mandate!” along 27th Street in front of Mountain View High School during a walkout and rally Monday morning.
Andrew Imhoff, a ninth-grader who plays football for Mountain View, said he disagrees with the statewide vaccine mandate for school employees that had a deadline that arrived Monday.
“We don’t believe in the vaccine mandates. It’s not right to force it upon other people. I mean, it should be a choice,” Andrew said.
Students, staff and parents, including Andrew's father, Rob Imhoff, said it's not the vaccine itself they're against.
“Everybody should have the choice. I’m not anti vaccine, I am pro the ability to choose what you want to do for it,” Rob Imhoff said.
Mountain View’s freshman football coach, Mark Schulz, is unvaccinated and will no longer be working for the school after 25 years.
“My freshman football coach got fired because of this, so I feel like I should come out here and support what he chose and how he did what he did,” Andrew said.
Rob shared a similar sentiment.
“Schulz is just one of a lot of really good coaches, and a lot of really good teachers, and a lot of really good doctors and a lot of really good nurses -- the list goes on,” Rob said.
Yolanda Webb has been working with the Bend-La Pine Schools for 17 years and is currently at Lava Ridge Elementary.
She said she will not comply with the mandate.
“Wear the mask, test weekly … no, enough is enough! Kate Brown's got to go,” Webb said with emotion. “This mandate is unlawful -- it’s illegal -- so we’re done.”
Webb fears a similar mandate could be used in the future for children.
“I’m standing with these kids -- they’re after them next,” Webb said. “They’re going to be mandating something for them that they don’t want to do.”
Late Monday, Bend-La Pine Schools reported that 91% of its 2,028 employees are now vaccinated, 8.4% got a religious exception, 0.6% received medical exception and 15 individuals, or fewer than 1%, are on unpaid leave.
"Because an overwhelming number of staff members complied with the regulation, Bend-La Pine Schools anticipates little impact on day-to-day operations," the district said.
The Redmond School District reported out of its 940 employees, 83% are fully vaccinated and 17% were granted exceptions, with no staff members out of compliance.
The Crook County School District reported out of its 512 staff members, 70% are fully vaccinated, 25% approved for exemptions, 5% in the process of submitting documentation, and six employees no longer working for the district.
The Jefferson County School District said 77.26% of its 453 total employees, are fully vaccinated, 19.86% have submitted exception forms and one person will not be continuing with the district
Rob Imhoff believes someone shouldn’t be losing their job for something like this.
“You’re connecting a mandate to a job. My ability to provide for my family,” Rob said. “There's a problem with that. I don’t care what side you’re on, you should stand up for this.”