DORI MONSON

Dori: Oops! Maple Valley school pulls back on ‘VIP’ list for vaccinated students

Jan 19, 2022, 2:01 PM | Updated: Jan 20, 2022, 7:46 am
vaccinated students...
A masked teacher walks by as students wait in a single file line after eating a socially distanced lunch (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Five days after alerting Cedar River Elementary students and parents about a new lunch plan to create “VIP seating” that came with “an added privilege” for COVID-vaccinated students, the Maple Valley school has reversed its decision.

In the first email, sent Jan. 14, the dean of Cedar River Elementary wrote: “We are fortunate to have a designated lunchroom, however space is limited, so we are getting creative to keep kids safe and on campus. We are utilizing VIP seating to ensure fully vaccinated students who are close contacts have the ability to stay safe, while also giving them an added privilege of recognizing other students doing the right thing by handing out Otter Paws.”

At a time when many local schools are requiring their students to eat outside in cold and wet weather, the email upset some parents. Emails to The Dori Monson Show from families in Tahoma School District were outraged at what they called “exclusivity” awarded to vaccinated kids. While vaccines are available to children as young as 5 years old in Washington state, they are not required for students that young.

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When The Dori Monson Show inquired about the school’s original VIP plan, Tahoma School District spokesman AJ Garcia responded by email:

“The message that Cedar River sent was not worded appropriately, and unfortunately caused confusion in our community. Cedar River sent an apology/follow-up message to their families to try to clarify,” Garcia wrote.

“We met with the Cedar River Principal, their Dean of Students, and our district COVID-19 leadership yesterday, and it was determined that Cedar River will revert to their previous lunch practices (no VIP seating),” the spokesman added.

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Dori: Oops! Maple Valley school pulls back on ‘VIP’ list for vaccinated students