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Ankeny Community School District votes to comply with OSHA vaccine mandate

The Ankeny CSD School Board met Tuesday and voted to comply with the federal vaccine policy. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the rule this month.

ANKENY, Iowa — There is a lot of confusion regarding the new vaccine policy within the Ankeny Community School District. Their school board unanimously agreed to comply with President Biden's federal vaccine mandate. 

Districts across the state are implementing mandates to be in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) rule for employers with 100 or more employees. 

Employees have two options: they can either be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. They will be required to submit proof of vaccination by Monday, Jan. 10. 

Employees who choose not to get vaccinated will need to provide negative tests and wear masks at all times when in the building starting Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Ankeny Communication Director Samantha Aukes wants the community to understand this is all about complying with the federal government's rule. 

"I would say, it's not uncommon for school districts to have rules or regulations or laws, or any of the above come down from the federal government, what our job is to do is to comply with them, and to do it well," she told Local 5.

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Employees will have the option to apply for either a religious or medical exemption. Aukes added their policy will change as changes are made at the federal level. 

"So for an organization the size of Ankeny, a new rule like this from the federal government isn't something that we can turn around just on the day that it takes place, it's something that requires a little bit of time to set up," she said. "And so what has been done now is just set the district up to be able to comply with this on Monday. Of course, if the Supreme Court takes other action on Friday, Ankeny Schools will comply, with whatever the new regulations are at that time."

"Really all that's been done at this time is creating a system in which the school district can comply on Monday, and give us a little bit of lead time in order to enact that."

The U.S. Supreme Court will hold a special session this month to hear arguments on the federal rule.

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