By Corinne Murdock
The private school Brophy College Preparatory (Brophy) announced Wednesday that it would mandate the experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Their take on the mandate mirrored President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees and contractors – if an individual isn’t fully vaccinated, they must adhere to masking restrictions, social distancing measures, and frequent testing.
In a letter to parents, Brophy Principal Bob Ryan explained that there wouldn’t be a hybrid learning option for students. Therefore, students needed to adjust accordingly to create a safe learning environment. According to Ryan, Brophy students and faculty may choose to not be vaccinated; however, they would have to be tested regularly and be prohibited from overnight retreats and school travels outside of the metro area.
“Over the last six months, it has become increasingly clear that the most effective way to contain the spread of the virus is to have a vaccinated community,” wrote Ryan. “Therefore, effective September 13, every student, teacher, and staff member will need to have proof of vaccination on file with the school or get tested for COVID regularly. Additionally, effective Monday, August 9, and for the foreseeable future, any student who wishes to participate in overnight retreats or any school-related travel outside of the Phoenix metro area will be required to have proof of vaccine on file.”
Brophy will resume classes next Thursday.
Earlier this summer, Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill prohibiting K-12 mask and vaccine mandates into law. Both of Ducey’s sons are Brophy graduates.
It is unclear whether private schools like Brophy are exempt from the law. The COVID-19 vaccine is still under emergency use authorization (EUA) only from the FDA.