Maribel Duarte condemns Los Angeles school district for bribing teen son with free pizza to get COVID-19 vaccine without her consent.
Maribel Duarte said that her 13-year-old son returned home from the Barack Obama Global Prep Academy in South Los Angeles with a vaccination card after he accepted the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for pizza.
‘I should have been involved,’ Duarte told NBC Los Angeles. ‘The lady that gave him the shot and signed the paper told my son, “Please don’t say anything. I don’t want to get in trouble.”
The card showed that the unidentified boy had two doses of his Pfizer vaccine, on October 28 and November 18. It is unclear when he told his mother about what had happened after the first or second shot.
‘It hurt to know he got a shot without my permission, without knowing and without signing any papers for him to get the shot,’ Duarte added.
Students face ultimatums
Duarte is herself vaccinated against COVID, but said she did not want her son to receive the shot because he is asthmatic and suffers from allergies, which she fears puts him at greater risk of rare but potentially-serious side effects.
‘He has problems with asthma and allergy problems,’ the mother said.
The school is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is mandating all student 12 years and above be vaccinated by January 10.
In almost all California districts, students aged under 18 can only get vaccinated with parental consent, although San Francisco allows children aged 12 and up to decide for themselves.
Students who don’t get the jab by the deadline or don’t have a legal exemption will be forced back into virtual learning.
On Nov. 22, LAUSD said that 79% of students in the district had a complete, pending, or partial vaccination record, or had qualified for conditional admission or medical exemption.
An LAUSD spokesperson told Foxnews that they could not confirm the incident involving Duarte’s son while conceding that students were being offered incentives to get the vaccine.
Parents question school vaccination mandate
‘With the Jan. 10, 2022, student vaccination deadline approaching, the District introduced the Safe Schools to Safe Steps Incentive Program throughout Los Angeles Unified Schools,’ the spokesperson said. ‘This program offers incentives to families who upload proof of their vaccine, have an approved medical exemption, or have conditional admissions.’
Attorney Jennifer Kennedy is following two cases currently making their way through court against the LAUSD seeking to end the mandate.
She told NBC Los Angeles that the parents may have a strong case because the district does no have the legal authority to enforce a mandate.
‘The LAUSD does not have the power to add a vaccine to the California school schedule,’ she said. ‘You couldn’t do it if you were a podunk school district and you can’t do it if you’re LAUSD, the second largest district in the nation. You don’t have that legal authority.’
Last month the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11.
The decision has caused stirred controversy with opponents saying there is little evidence to suggest vaccinating children is necessary.
The push for mandatory vaccination
Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that just 741 children aged between 0 and 18 died of COVID between the start of the outbreak in March 2020 and December 1 2021.
The US was one of the first states to officially approve jabs for the 5-11 age group, with most countries, including the UK, only offering vaccines to children 12 and older.
Among the more serious potential side effects are inflammation of the heart, which scientists believe is more likely to affect teenage boys, but which they’ve also stressed is extremely rare.
The pandemic has killed more than 780,000 Americans and slowed economic growth and snarled supply chains.
Mandatory vaccination has become an increasingly popular tool in fighting the pandemic, with the overall U.S. vaccination rate standing at 60%.
Although the Biden administration’s plans have been frustrated in court, judges have upheld mandates by private employers, universities and state and local governments.
The Biden administration’s requirement for military and civilian government employees survived court challenges.