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Protest Against Vaccination Mandate Occurs Outside Riverside Unified Board Meeting

Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
Protestors attending the anti-vaccination mandate rally outside the meeting place for the Riverside Unified Board of Education.

Over 100 parents and children gathered outside Riverside Unified’s School Board Meeting on Oct. 21 in protest. 

The group was protesting the school vaccination requirement announced by Governor Newsom on Oct. 1.

Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
Protestors holding up signs on Magnolia St. during the protest.

Heather Knapp co-organized the event with the conservative group Stand Up Riverside. Knapp is a registered nurse and runs the Instagram page @Nurses4Freedom, which has over 60,000 followers. “I am a mother of four, and I am sick and tired of feeling like my God-given role to my kids is being trampled on. I do not co-parent with the government," said Knapp.

Amanda Harris is a leader with Stand Up Riverside. Harris said, “We’re not against vaccines, right, we’re not anti-vaccine, we’re not pro-vaccine, we are just pro-choice, and medical freedom and we are against mandates, that goes with anything.”

Other rally participants appeared to be against covid vaccination.

Tom Hunt is President of the Riverside Unified Board of Education. In response to requests to defy the requirement, Hunt says the ultimate power is in the hands of the State Department of Health and the governor. “School Districts essentially, if they do pushback, try to dilute, etcetera will become immediately liable for any financial damages," said Hunt.

The new vaccination requirement from Governor Newsom would only go into place upon full FDA approval of the vaccine for the age groups of K through 6 and 7th to 12th.

Jonathan Linden is a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and had previously interned for the station in the Spring of 2019. Outside of KVCR, Jonathan also interned for KALW in San Francisco, KFI in Burbank, and Radio HCJB in Quito, Ecuador.