DePaul Prep to require vaccines for students or they must remain masked (Chicago, IL) – DePaul College Prep is requiring students to provide proof they are vaccinated on entry to the campus or to mask up.

The policy became effective July 14 .

“[T]hose students over 12 years of age and adults who are able to share evidence of their vaccination by presenting their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card upon entry to our campus will be allowed to be mask-free while on campus,” a school announcement reads.

Additionally the school indicated it would be keeping detailed records on students’ compliance with the rule.

The school said students should log into to a system to share private health information to “confirm vaccination dates.”

Officials added that “the student will need to continue wearing their mask until this information is inputted.”

“For those student or adults who are not able to produce their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, masks will be required. There will be no exceptions to this rule,” the announcement reads.

The move comes only a month after DePaul College Prep Principal Dr. Megan Stanton-Anderson said the school was uncertain on requiring vaccines.

“My sense is that most schools will not make decisions about whether to mandate vaccination for quite some time,” Stanton-Anderson said in her reply to a parent last month. DePaul’s move is more aggressive than that of Gov. J.B. Pritzker whose office recently said it would allow schools districts to decide mask rules.

DePaul’s tuiton is nearly $15,000 per year. Over 700 students attend the high school.

Only those 12 and older are currently eligible to be vaccinated. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating vaccines for those under 12.

Earlier this year several European countries suspended AstraZeneca’s vaccinations in those 40 and under after side effects were reported.

State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Champaign) said kids should not be forced to wear masks regardless of vaccination history. “Don’t force these kids in schools to wear a mask,” Caulkins told WCIA. “They have been together all summer. They’ve been playing sports together, they’ve been hanging out at birthday parties, they’ve been socializing, they’ve been going to people’s back yards, playing ball. And now they’re going to have to turn around in that same group and wear a mask.”

Others have said the removal of masks altogether is overdue. State Rep. Adam Niemerg (R-Teutopolis) sponsored two bills in the last legislative session aimed at removing mask mandates.

“I think we’re at a point in time where we can start lifting these ordinances in a wholesale fashion and people have to take precaution based on their individual risks and decide whether or not they’re going  to avoid crowds or wear masks based on the circumstance,” Niemerg said in a House floor speech.

DePaul Prep to require vaccines for students or they must remain masked