JSD 117 Board To Hear Complaint on Staff COVID Testing Requirement

By Benjamin Cox on September 15, 2021 at 3:27pm

The District 117 School Board is expected to face a controversial issue head on tonight. In a letter obtained via FOIA request this afternoon, a letter signed by 29 staff members, 1 school board member, and signed by over 60 concerned citizens of the district says that the state mandating weekly testing of unvaccinated or those not wishing to disclose their vaccination status to the district is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The letter says that the current testing requirement discriminates and segregates staff who have made a personal health decision based upon religious beliefs. The letter says that the current nasal swab testing poses a health risk, creates a hostile work environment, and increases the workload of fellow staff members and the nursing staff who are currently overworked to begin with.

The letter asks for the group to have their voices heard for a possible solution in the matter.

Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a mandate on August 26th requiring vaccination for all pre-k-12 teachers and staff. According to the governor’s executive order, for those unwilling or unable to be vaccinated will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week, also allowing for the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health to increase testing in certain situations.

Jacksonville School District 117 meets in regular session beginning at 6PM tonight.