MMSD superintendent says he’s in favor of vaccine requirement for teachers

MMSD Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins says hes in favor of mandatory COVID vaccines for teachers

MADISON, Wis. — Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins said Friday he’s in favor of a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for district teachers.

Dr. Jenkins clarified his position on the potential requirement during a Friday media briefing ahead of the 2021-22 school year.

“As superintendent, yes, I am recommending that we move forward with a mandate for vaccination,” Dr. Jenkins said.

The district’s school board is expected to discuss the requirement during a Monday night board meeting.

“Let me say this: I don’t do this lightly because I’m not one who would just make mandates. We have, as a group — and that’s why you see all of us here together — we’ve studied this and we know the best path forward for our students, for our staff, and for our community is to take the highest level of safety serious[ly]. And that’s what we’ve done.”

Just 10 days ago, a district spokesperson told News 3 Now the district had no plans to require vaccinations for staff, saying the district didn’t see the mandate “as being an effective strategy.”

RELATED: MMSD to require masks for everyone indoors and on buses to start school year

Board member Nicki Vander Meulen said the FDA’s full approval of Pfizer’s vaccine is a key factor in escalating the effort to require teachers to get vaccinated.

“Now we have full approval saying this vaccine, which we knew ahead of time, is safe, is effective. Those are two things the public can rely on,” Vander Meulen said.

The Board of Education meeting is scheduled to be held virtually starting at 6 p.m. Monday.