This morning, State Representative Christine Drazan (R-Canby) testified in opposition to permanent rules proposed by the Oregon Health Authority requiring masks in schools and mandatory vaccinations for teachers.
A transcript of Rep. Drazan’s remarks is available below. An audio recording is also available here.
Rep. Drazan’s prepared remarks to the Oregon Health Authority’s administration rulemaking hearing regarding mask and vaccine requirements for schools:
Thank you so much for the opportunity to testify this morning. My name is Christine Drazan. I am the State Representative for House District 39. My district includes Canby, Charbonneau, Estacada, Mulino, rural Oregon City, and portions of Happy Valley, Boring and Damascus.
I am wholly opposed to the adoption of both of these rules today. It is time for the state to end rulemaking on permanent COVID mandates. I oppose continued efforts to mandate masks for students and attempts to coerce teachers and school staff into making a personal health care decision by requiring them to accept the vaccine or be fired.
With current teacher shortages, we cannot afford to lose educators from the classroom. And when it comes to masks, parents and local school boards are the right ones to be making the decisions moving forward about what is best for their kids, not unelected bureaucrats with a top-down approach that is statewide, one-size-fits-all.
When it comes to mandatory vaccinations for our teachers, the answer has got to be: no. No permanent mandate. Our educators are more than capable of assessing their own risk factors and determining for themselves the best approach to their own health care.
The agency does not have the trust of the public, as it continues to move the goalposts and change metrics to justify continued mandates and top-down control. What are the specific metrics for how and when these rules will be repealed? If ever? You don’t say, and we don’t know.
It’s not enough for you to simply say ‘trust us.’ Oregonians do not trust you. They want transparency, they want accountability, and they want to know at what point we are going to allow our classrooms to get back to normal. Our kids need to learn, our teachers want to teach. It’s time to stop mandating for our kids and let teachers make their own decisions about this vaccine.
We must lead with facts and not fear.