A Madison Metropolitan School District teacher plans to challenge what he considers unequal application of the district’s religious exemption to its staff COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Nathan Hataj, a technology and engineering teacher at La Follette High School, “didn’t think of it as an issue” when the School Board unanimously approved the staff vaccine mandate in September, as he had abstained from other vaccines in the past.
Staff were required to be vaccinated or submit an exemption request by Nov. 1, which Hataj said he did. In December, however, he was told his request was denied.
Hataj appealed the December decision and was told in January that he had until Friday, Jan. 14, to show that he had begun his COVID vaccine series or he would be fired effective Jan. 21. He said communications from the district when he’s asked questions about the policy and his application have been poor.
Monday, Hataj showed up at school, as he had not received a formal notice from the district that he had been fired. He wrote in an email that he still “assumed I’ll be fired” and felt like he was in “limbo.”
He said in an email Monday afternoon that an assistant principal told him not to come to school Tuesday. His principal also informed him via email that human resources director Tracy Carradine told the principal that Hataj’s employment was considered terminated as of Friday.
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