High school hallway. Photo via Pixabay.

A group of parents and students at Granada Hills Charter High School rallied outside the campus Tuesday in opposition to a policy that will bar students who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 from participating in graduation ceremonies.

“I think it’s terrible,” parent Tom Luna told KNX Newsradio at the rally. “I think it’s unfair to these kids that they’re being discriminated against just because they’re unvaccinated. I think that Granada Hills Charter should go along with the rest of LAUSD and let these kids go to school and graduation. There’s no reason not to.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District recently delayed implementation of its student COVID vaccination mandate until July 1, 2023, but Granada Hills Charter maintained its requirement.

In a statement, the school noted that 99% students eligible for the shots have been vaccinated. The school insisted the policy is in the “best interests” of students.

“Our board stands by the science that indicates that vaccination is the most effective and best tool available to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safest learning environment possible,” according to the school. “Our commitment to safety is ever more important as COVID-19 cases are spiking again, and the prospect of outbreaks and new variants is significant.”

According to the protesting parents, the school’s policy will prevent 70 unvaccinated high school seniors from attending graduation ceremonies, including eight special-needs students.

“What Granada Hills charter high school has done to its graduating seniors is egregious and unconstitutional by both state and federal standards,” Parisa Fishback, cofounder of a group called Moms on the Ground, said in a statement ahead of the rally. “We will hold them accountable in every way possible. For now, we march for the kids that they will not allow to walk.”

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