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Dozens of parents and children in Oroville participated in a vaccine mandate protest today

Schools saw a decrease in attendance in many local counties on Monday.

Posted: Oct 18, 2021 6:46 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2021 9:52 AM

OROVILLE, Calif. - School walkouts were held across the state today over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

The principal at Las Plumas High School in Oroville said it was more of a no-show seen among students than a walkout but that attendance was down. 

Kids and parents lined up this morning in front of Butte County Public Health with signs and American flags. Some chanted "We're not lab rats, no vaccine."

They gathered for two hours this morning in frustration over how the governor plans to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory to attend school.

RELATED: Parents, kids protest California student vaccine mandate

"If I am still a custodian of my children, that is not the government's choice or opportunity to step in and fill my shoes. I am still right here and doing what I can to make the right choices for my kids," Ryan Skinner said. 

"We don't care if you vote red or you vote blue or if you vote at all. This is an American thing. We want the right to choose," Renee Gramps said. 

The governor said that there will be religious and medical exemptions but many of the parents are considering homeschooling or moving out of state if the mandate goes into effect.

They say this is just the first of many protests they have planned and want to put an end to the mandate now before it goes into effect.

RELATED: Large group gathers for school walkout at Riverfront Park Amphitheater

Most of the parents that Action News Now spoke with say they are not anti-vaccine, they just believe it should be a choice instead of a mandate. 

Right now, the state says the mandate likely will not go into effect until next summer when the vaccine gets fille FDA approval. It will roll out in a phased approach starting with students grade seven through 12.

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