Decatur schools mandate COVID-19 vaccines for staff, no decision yet for students

City Schools of Decatur staff will soon be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID 19. The district said it is still discussing the possibility of implementing similar a measure for eligibles students, but those plans are still in the discussion phase.

All district staff has until the end of October to get fully vaccinated, secure an appointment, or an exemption from the district.

Decatur is the first district to put such a policy into place in Georgia.

Right now, both staff and students are required to wear masks on all 10 of the city's campuses.

Kavia Kreitel has three children enrolled in Decatur city schools. She supports a vaccine mandate.

"I think it's only responsible for teachers to be," Keitel told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes. "I work in healthcare.  I have had three doses of this vaccine and it is completely safe, and I think it's what's going to get us out of  this."

Decatur school students and staff members are already required to wear masks on campus. The school district reported 20 COVID cases among students and staff last week.

City Schools of Decatur COVID-19 report Sept. 7-10, 2021.

City Schools of Decatur COVID-19 report Sept. 7-10, 2021.

RELATED: Treatment can help high-risk COVID-19 patients stay out of hospital, and it's free

A school district spokesperson tells FOX 5 Superintendent Maggie Fehrman is expected to discuss the proposed vaccine mandate at Tuesday night's school board meeting. School Board members would have to vote on whether to require students get vaccinated, but no such vote is necessary to mandate staff be fully vaccinated.

With students returning to class in large number, and children under 12 ineligible for the vaccine, parents we talked to say it's the right call.

"This one is not yet 12-years-old," said Laura Willar of her son. "So we are hoping that it will come through quickly for him. In the meantime, I hope that everyone else can get vaccinated as well." 

Board members have said they are open to allowing regular testing on a routine basis for employees who choose not to be vaccinated, and would allow for accommodations for employees who request exemptions for disability or religious reasons.

Parent Peter Isbister said, "I think a vaccine mandate is just going to make it that much more likely we can all finish the year with as  many days as possible in the classroom."

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage


Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.