University Fires 2 Workers After They Ask Students’ Vaccine Status

University Fires 2 Workers After They Ask Students' Vaccine Status needle sits in blue bin on counter (Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 05 October 2021 01:41 PM

Two employees of Lamar University in Texas were fired after asking students if they were vaccinated against COVID-19, The Washington Post is reporting.

The employees, Bruce Hodge and Karen Corwin, came up with a plan to ask gifted high school juniors and senior taking part in the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities program on campus if they had received a vaccine or were planning to get immunized.

The nearly 30 students were asked about their vaccine status on a blue slip of paper as they arrived at their dorm.

According to the newspaper, almost all of the students said they had received a vaccine. Hodge sent the results of the poll the university dean, who runs the program.

He told the dean he wanted to be prepared for a worst-case scenario since he and his colleagues essentially act as parents for the 16-and 17-year-olds in the program while they’re on campus.

"I could foresee a situation with an incapacitated student where I couldn’t reach a parent and a doctor is asking me if they’re vaccinated," Hodge told the Post.

But Hodge said the dean seemed "peeved" by the vaccine information collected.

Hodge told the newspaper he and Corwin met with school administrators. But were later summoned to the university’s human resources office in mid-September and fired.

"There was no discussion. There was nothing," Corwin said.

But both Hodge and Corwin say they are convinced they were dismissed because of the politicization surrounding the vaccines in Texas, the newspaper noted.

The school, which is in Beaumont, Texas, declined a request by the Post for comment.

In July, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order blocking cities and government entities in the state from requiring masks or vaccines.

Abbott, a Republican, had issued a statement saying the executive order combines "several existing COVID-19 executive orders to promote statewide uniformity and certainty in the state’s COVID-19 response."