LOS GATOS, CA — A South Bay hospital is under investigation for encouraging school district employees in one of the nation’s wealthiest regions to cut the coronavirus vaccine line by falsely claiming to be hospital workers, San Jose Spotlight reports.
Los Gatos Union School District Superintendent Paul Johnson said in an email to employees obtained by San Jose Spotlight that Good Samaritan Hospital was offering them vaccines as a thanks for a program to raise money for meals for last year for frontline workers.
“They mentioned that our kindness last year was not forgotten and how much they appreciated it,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson’s email provides a link to which district employees can sign up for the vaccine they are not eligible for, calling it “a wonderful gesture.”
“The COO of the hospital says we can access the appointments through here and has cleared LGUSD staff to sign up under the healthcare buttons."
The county just started Phase 1B of the vaccination rollout but is currently only vaccinating those people over the age of 75, the report said.
Education and childcare workers aren’t eligible to receive vaccines until after health care workers and those over the age of 65 get theirs according to the report.
Santa Clara County officials are investigating the case, The Mercury News reports.
A longtime district middle school teacher blasted district officials at a public meeting Thursday night for engaging in a practice anathema to The Golden Rule teachers are expected to convey to their students, The Mercury News reports.
Jim Fredette has taught at R.J. Fisher Middle School for 15 years according to the report.
“All that time, I’ve been reminding Fisher students to not cut in line. However, as it turns out, LGUSD not only condones it, but encourages it,” Fredette said.
“Even if in some quirk of circumstances, district lawyers justified this action, it is terrible optics. When health care workers and seniors remain unvaccinated, this course of action is wrong, any way you slice it.”
About 4.4 percent of the LGUSD’s student population of around 3,200 are eligible for school lunch subsidies, compared with 34.9 percent countywide according to The Mercury News report, citing data from the California Department of Education.