Latin Mandates Faculty Vaccinations; Should Students Follow?


Latin’s medical director, Dr. Leslie Cordes, reports that 95% of Upper School students are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and said there are no immediate plans to mandate vaccines for unvaccinated students.

In accordance with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Sept. 5 mandate, Latin did, however, require all teachers to get vaccinated.

Head of School Randall Dunn said, “We will wait for full review by CDC and guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) before considering mandating vaccines for students.” He added, “Latin is encouraged by the very high vaccination rate of its eligible students.”

The high student vaccination rate, combined with the teacher vaccine mandate, has made Latin a relatively safe place and perhaps even created herd immunity within the Upper School.

Sophomore Ava Gowder credits Latin for separating fact from fiction. She said, “I definitely feel that the school did a pretty good job of filtering out any false information about the vaccine, because if the school didn’t address the apprehension about the vaccine, I definitely feel many more people may have been hesitant.” Latin has circulated vaccination information throughout the school via schoolwide emails and posters in the hallways with topical information on the vaccine.

Even so, there doesn’t appear to be a clear consensus among Latin students about whether the school should mandate vaccines for students.

Junior Braden Sedler said, “I don’t think Latin should force people to get vaccinated, because we don’t know why they’re not vaccinated.”

Freshman Natasha Benjamin disagreed, saying, “I understand why Latin is hesitant to mandate the vaccine because of the conflicting views on it. However, I think that mandating this vaccine will positively affect the health and safety of our community by offering more protection against COVID.”