Can Schools Force Students to Vaccinate?


Alayna Martinez, Senior Staff Writer

In March of 2020, the dreaded Coronavirus caused everything to shut down for months. People couldn’t see their friends or family and had to quarantine in their homes. This isolation affected students greatly as it was hard for them to learn online. Most students would never want to go back to that way of learning and want to be in school. Most teachers, as well, would much rather teach from the classroom environment.  Therefore, this desire on the part of students, their families and teacher caused many educational institutions to take action to make sure that students can learn in person. 

One of the biggest debates now with this return to school concerns a school district’s right to mandate vaccinations.  According to an article on The Conversation online, “In the United States, school vaccination requirements are established by states rather than the federal government. The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows states to make regulations protecting public health.”  So some districts may be demanding vaccinations, while others strongly recommend in order to a student and others. A student at Hubbard High School, Julia Palumbo, said, “I decided to get the vaccine because I didn’t want Covid or didn’t want to spread it to my family.”

Some people refuse to get vaccinated because of how quickly the vaccine was developed. However, the CDC says, “COVID-19 vaccines were developed using science that has been around for decades. COVID-19 vaccines have received and continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.” 

Another common argument is that even with vaccinations, some may still get Covid. This is true, but COVID-19 vaccines help one from getting seriously ill even if he/she does get Covid. Nicholas VanSuch, a senior at Hubbard, states, ”Getting vaccinated is going to be one of the only ways to stop this pandemic. People will continue to spread it to one another unless we unite and become vaccinated against.”

Students getting vaccinated can lower risks of spreading COVID-19. According to, “The outbreaks have been especially dramatic in states and school districts with mask-optional policies and where vaccination rates are low.” At Hubbard High School, masks were not required at the beginning of the school year. At that time, many students at Hubbard were not vaccinated and didn’t wear masks. Because of this, the cases of Covid continued to rise, with over 100 students at one time being either sick or quarantined due to contact.  After that outbreak, the school decided to mandate masks. This policy has been effective. If more students got vaccinated, then less people would get sick. Still, this needs to be an individual decision between a student and his/her family. Even is positive effects are evident, many still believe that a school shouldn’t dictate choice.