Dunmore School District takes steps to have teachers vaccinated against COVID-19

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DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Should teachers have to be vaccinated against COVID? It is a hot topic nationwide. One school district in Lackawanna County is working to answer the question.

Dunmore School District is one step closer to mandating its staff to be fully vaccinated.

“I think everyone should be vaccinated. It’s public health, not political,” said Onnie O’Neill who is a parent to a Dunmore School District alumni.

The Dunmore School Board passed a resolution that allows the district’s solicitor to put together a staff COVID-19 vaccine mandate proposal.

“Obviously, it’s probably better for the kids that everyone be vaccinated. I see they’re teaching the kids about vaccinations and what the vaccination does. I think it’s a great idea to keep the younger generation safe and keep everyone else safe at that point,” said parent Jacob Makaravitz.

Dunmore School District Superintendent John Marichak says he doesn’t anticipate it being an issue with his staff.

“I just think that overall, the board is looking for any way possible to help the children. Over 90 percent of our staff is fully vaccinated that we know of because we ran some clinics. But we haven’t had formal conversations with some of the other folks and we want to make sure we do that properly so, we’re just looking for student safety,” said Marichak.

He says he does not see any sort of vaccine mandate for students in the near future. But Eyewitness News spoke with a few students who say they would be in favor of the idea.

“We’re both fully vaccinated. I would feel great about that because it would mean everyone would be vaccinated so it would be safer,” agreed two freshman students Cullen McCarthy and Jazel Torres.

When the solicitor finalizes the policy, the board will have to vote to pass the new mandate. Only then, it could potentially go into effect.

At the end of the day, the people Eyewitness News spoke with say it all comes down to the safety of their community.

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