Now that every American 16 and older is eligible to get vaccinated, colleges and universities are announcing vaccine requirements for students to attend in-person learning this Fall. Is that legal? Will we see similar mandates in elementary and high schools? This article explains more.

Colleges and universities across the country are starting to require students to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to in-person learning this fall. Some people are questioning the legality of this requirement. Is it legal to require someone to get a vaccine?

Megan Collins, attorney for Welch, Donlon, & Czarples PLLC, explained how this mandate is legal. “If they do not have a religious or a medical basis for being exempt from the vaccine requirement, they can still fully engage in their education on a remote basis instead of in-person,” she said. “So under those parameters, yes I do think that requiring a COVID vaccine is legal for institutions.”

In terms of public and state-run education systems, Collins says this is in the air.

Read this full article in ABC 10: Is it legal to require a COVID-19 vaccine for colleges and schools?

Did you know April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)? Observed by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, school communities, survivors, allies, and many others, this national campaign is an opportunity to address the issue of sexual assault, while educating, raising awareness, and empowering others to take a stand against sexual violence.

This SAAM, we encourage you to know the facts. Click here to access our Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention fact sheet where you’ll find quick facts, tips, and reporting resources to bookmark.

Remember that your voice has power. Use it to support survivors and bring awareness to your school community.

As students return to in-person learning, the issue of school shootings is back in focus. Experts are concerned that gun violence in American schools may be even more likely in 2021 because of the pandemic’s impact on mental health and other factors. A recent study found the key to stopping school-based violence.

The Secret Service, which protects presidents and cabinet officers, has just released a study of school shootings and how to stop them.

The agency’s National Threat Assessment Venter analyzed nearly 70 disrupted school plots over the past two decades. The study found the key to stopping them was an early intervention, by someone close to a student possibly planning violence.

Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina died in the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland three years ago, is the president of Stand with Parkland which pushes for gun and school safety reforms. He said he’s more worried now about students heading back to the classroom, because of the pandemic’s impact on mental health.

“Targeted school attacks frequently occur after we’ve had an absence. We know that COVID is giving many students and schools the longest break in attendance they’ve ever had,” he said.

Read this full article in CBS Miami: Parkland Parent Tony Montalto Worried About Students Returning To Classrooms Due Pandemic Mental Health Impacts

President Biden unveiled a $1.5 trillion wish list for the federal budget with over $102 billion in aid for the education department. While specifics are still up in the air, here’s a breakdown of the proposal that would invest into essential resources for children and young people.

President Joe Biden is proposing major spending increases for the U.S. Department of Education in the next fiscal year—including major boosts for disadvantaged students, special education, and wraparound services at community schools—and said the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on students and educators has made additional funding more urgent.

An overview of the president’s fiscal 2022 spending proposal that the Biden administration released Friday includes $102.8 billion in discretionary aid for the Education Department. That’s an increase of nearly $30 billion, or approximately 41 percent, from the agency’s current discretionary budget of about $73 billion that lawmakers approved late last year.

Congress often ignores presidents’ annual spending requests, including high-profile proposals and major increases or decreases in spending on established programs. However, Biden might find a somewhat friendlier audience for his ideas in this Congress, which Democrats control, than other presidents.

Biden wants the following notable increases at the Education Department and elsewhere…

Read this full article in EdWeek: Biden Pitches 41 Percent Spending Increase for Education Next Year on Top of COVID-19 Aid

From contact tracing to diagnosing signs of anxiety in students, school nurses have taken on much more during the pandemic. Now, lawmakers in states like Texas and North Carolina are proposing legislation that requires more districts to employ full-time nurses in schools. This article details school nurses’ integral role in fighting COVID-19 and keeping our school communities safe.

Last September, as Covid-19 vaccine candidates were rapidly advancing, Katherine Park and six of her fellow school nurses in St. Louis County, Mo., envisioned school-based vaccination sites as an extension of the district’s pandemic response plan, which they had been working on for months. They reached out to the local health department, letting it know the district had buildings for use and more than 30 school nurses who could jump in on administering shots.

“Honestly, our health department here was kind of surprised that we even reached out to them,” said Park, who is also the interim director of health services at Parkway Schools, a public school district in western St. Louis County. “It’s almost like they had never really considered they could utilize us.”

Park said that many people don’t realize how much school nurses do to manage student health care on a daily basis, from administering insulin injections to giving seasonal flu vaccinations.

Read this full article in STAT: ‘A wild year’: School nurses greatly expand role with Covid-19 vaccinations, contact tracing