By Adrienne Moore

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID testing and vaccine mandate is leading to parent pushback with plans for a statewide school walkout. Organizers want parents to pull their children from class on Monday.

In a letter to parents, the superintendent of Twin Rivers Unified says its students don’t need to miss school for parents’ voices to be heard. But some parents told us, this all comes down to the freedom to choose.

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Calls for a walkout are growing louder.

“The vaccine mandate, I don’t think should be forced upon anybody,” said A.J. Fernandez, who supports the walkout.

Greg Gomez has a daughter at Laguna Creek High School. While he doesn’t plan on taking part in the walkout, he supports parents who are.

“It’s a personal choice,” he said. “If you choose you want it, that’s fine, and if not, that should be OK too.”

Ilina Schwartz found out about the walkout in a Facebook group.

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“My first reaction was it is completely ridiculous,” Schwartz said.

Her daughter is a cancer survivor and believes parents can send a message without impacting their child’s learning.

“Having children walk out of school when they desperately need to be in school and have some sense of normalcy, especially in the last 18 months, I think is so critical,” Schwartz said. “Speak up for what you believe in, but let’s let our kids learn and support our staff where we can.”

That sentiment was shared by the superintendent of Twin Rivers Unified, who, in a letter to staff and parents, said:

“Please let us continue to educate them, in school and in-person…If you have strong feelings against vaccination mandates, consider sending an email or video message to the governor.”

We reached out to other school districts. Sacramento City Unified told us students would lose important instructional time and a walkout benefits no one.

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Up in Shasta County, we learned Oak Run Elementary School has opted to close the school altogether on October 18, so students, parents and staff can take part in the walkout.

Adrienne Moore