DeWine signs bill with clause banning the requirement of COVID vaccine by public schools

Gov. Mike DeWine signed a new law designed to help military families as they relocate to Ohio late Wednesday afternoon. It was sponsored by two Miami Valley state lawmakers, Rep. Andrea White, R- Kettering and Rep. Brian Lampton, R-Beavercreek with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in mind. The bill would allow students of military families being transferred here to register in a new school district before they actually relocate to Ohio and if virtual classes are available, for that student to take advantage of that option before they move here.

In a written statement released after the Governor signed the bill, White said “House Bill 244 removes barriers and enables our schools to be more flexible and welcoming to families at a time in their service that can be extremely stressful.”

The proposal was on its way to unanimous support in both the Ohio House and Senate in late June but the Senate added a controversial amendment considered by Democrats to be anti-vaccine. That’s when the bipartisan support faded. It still passed the House and Senate but it was feared that DeWine might veto it because of the vaccine amendment.

The clause added by the Ohio Senate mandates that as long as the coronavirus vaccines only have emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug administration no public school district or publicly supported university may mandate student vaccination or discriminate against failure to vaccinate.

DeWine offered no comment on the bill other than to say in a written statement that he signed it into law.