Montague, NJ bars school staff from discussing COVID vaccines
MONTAGUE — Saying that vaccination decisions, for COVID-19 or anything else, are discretionary for parents and health care providers, this township's public school district has voted to restrict teachers and other staff from discussing vaccination status, as well as either encouraging or discouraging vaccinations, while in official school capacity.
School board president Barbara Holstein said the measure was primarily drawn up to prevent teachers from being "bombarded" by parents, according to an NJ.com report, but the New Jersey Education Association said educators should not be prohibited from sharing "factual, scientifically and historically valid information."
The provision, as NJ.com pointed out, is similar to one that previously approved in Middletown, the hometown of Gov. Phil Murphy. That district backed off what would have been a challenge to the governor's statewide mask mandate for schools to start the academic year.
The Montague Township School District governs just one school, with students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Classes begin Sept. 7.
Holstein told NJ.com that the resolution against discussing COVID vaccinations and vaccine status did not carry any penalties for staff who violate the edict.