LAUSD removing athletes from rosters who aren’t vaccinated

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High schools following Los Angeles Unified School District rules began to remove athletes from rosters on Monday, the first day of an LAUSD mandate requiring students who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to be prevented from participating in games or after-school practices.

Last week, LAUSD statistics indicated at least 70% of district athletes had been vaccinated.

At Woodland Hills Taft, officials were alerting more than 100 students for all sports that they were no longer permitted to play on teams, handing them a letter explaining the mandate.

They are still allowed to attend school but won’t be allowed to practice on any team when the school day ends and can’t play in winter competitions. They can regain their eligibility the day after becoming fully vaccinated with a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine or if they are 18, the J&J one-shot vaccine, according to the LAUSD. The confirmation information has to be loaded into the district’s on line portal.

At Lake Balboa Birmingham, an independent charter school that is following the LAUSD mandate, athletic director Rick Prizant said 98% of the football team has been vaccinated and 76% of athletes.

At 3:30 p.m., when the final school bell was scheduled to ring, standout junior pitcher Daniel Flores said he would leave the baseball practice because he had only received one of his two shots. He was scheduled to receive his second shot later Monday evening.

Flores said he waited until last month to get vaccinated because his mother was unconvinced to sign off. He had to lobby her.

“My mom did not believe in it,” he said.

That’s when Flores reminded her, “If you want to see me play, then you have to let me get vaccinated.”

Another Birmingham baseball player, catcher Alex Olvera, said was he among the first team members to be vaccinated last March because his aunt is a nurse and advised family members.

When teammates found out, they started asking him questions, such as, “How did it feel? Do you think I should get it?”

Birmingham shortstop Gavin Taylor said the requirement made him get vaccinated. “If I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t,” he said.

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